She is arguably gospel music’s greatest singer ever. Raised up through the legendary lineage of her mega-musical family tree, Priscilla “CeCe” Winans was born in Detroit during Motown’s heyday. Though the historic record company was making massive strides in the racial integration of pop music, Mom and Pop Winans filled their home with solely spiritual music—tuning the ten Winans siblings’ ears to the contemporary soul strains prescribed by the gospel music giants of the era like Andrae Crouch and Rance Allen.
Deeply influencing her own sonic trajectory, CeCe, in duet with her brother, BeBe, forged a chart-topping career in the predominantly white Christian music world in the 1980’s with their smooth grooves and easy listening harmonies, before diving headlong into mainstream soul circles with their platinum-selling R&B vocal mastery in the early 1990’s. By the end of the same decade, the GRAMMY-winning songstress had made a formidable career out of a string of best-selling solo records, cementing her place in gospel music history forever.
But for the last several years, there has remained a steady silence on the CeCe front—at least in terms of new recordings, until now. After a nine-year pause, Winans is back at center stage, accessing the fashionable sounds of her childhood with a foundational gospel message for a new generation of believers, once again commissioning the church with her award-winning pipes and wide open heartedness on a bold new set—Let Them Fall In Love (Pure Springs Gospel/Thirty Tigers Music—buy)—out now.
Here to talk us through the process of throwin’ it back into creating something new, please welcome the incomparable CeCe Winans.
CCM Magazine: We live in a culture where our messages are fairly ambiguous and convoluted. Throwing the record back sonically—was that a way of getting back to some sort of back-to-the-basics message spiritually as well?
CeCe Winans: When my son [Alvin Love III] came up with the vision of the throwback sound, he assured me that lyrically—and this was probably one of the things that won me over—we would be bold, really have songs of substance. We were purposeful with both, to have more of a throwback sound as well as going back to the old landmarks with lyrics.
CLICK “2” TO ADVANCE