Priscilla "CeCe" Marie Winans Love /ˈwaɪnænz/ (born October 8, 1964) is an American gospel singer, who has won numerous awards, including ten Grammy Awards and seven Stellar Awards. She has sold twelve million records world wide. Cece is also the best-selling female gospel artist of all time.
CeCe Winans was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Delores and David ("Mom and Pop") Winans, on October 8, 1964. She is the eighth of ten children, and the eldest of three girls.
CeCe began her solo career with the Platinum certified album Alone in His Presence. It was released in 1995 and earned her a Grammy Award and two Dove Awards, including the Female Vocalist of the Year, an award she earned again in 1997. Winans' next release, the Gold certified Everlasting Love was released in 1998 and featured Winans highest to date Billboard charting solo singles "Well Alright" and "Slippin". The song "On That Day" from the album was written and produced by R&B singer Lauryn Hill. Later that year, Winans released His Gift a holiday album.
In 1999, Winans started her own recording company, "PureSprings Gospel". Her first album on the label was Alabaster Box in 1999. Some production of the disc was done by Gospel singer and musician, Fred Hammond. It included a guest appearance by Take 6. In 2000 Cece released a concert VHS titled Live at the Lambs Theater in New York. The concert contained songs from her previous albums. Winans released her next album, the self-titled CeCe Winans, in 2001. The single "Anybody Wanna Pray" included a guest appearance by GRITS. The second single, "Say A Prayer" crossed over into the CCM market.
Winans took a two-year break from releasing albums and returned in 2003 with Throne Room. The first 1,000 copies were issued with a bonus CD that contained exclusive interviews with the artist, the making of the CD, some touring footage, and the music video "More Than What I Wanted" (which came from the 2001 release). In 2004, the 25-city tour Throne Room with the group Anointed featured free admission and was followed with a DVD release of the concert recorded in Tennessee near CeCe's place of residence. Live in the Throne Room contained tracks from all of Winans' albums. Around September 2004, Winans experienced what she thought was a flu but turned out to be a serious stomach infection and was hospitalized immediately for surgery. Due to the extended recovery time, the second half of the Throne Room Tour was postponed to early 2005.
Winans' seventh album Purified was released in 2005. Producers on board for the project were longtime BeBe & CeCe collaborator Keith Thomas, and CeCe's nephew Mario Winans. Winans' son Alvin III also co-writes several songs on the album and younger sisters Angie and Debbie Winans make an appearance as well.
CeCe's collection of Top Ten R&B radio hits include "Count On Me", her duet with Whitney Houston, from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. The single was certified Gold in the US and reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 4 on the Adult Contemporary chart and No. 8 on the Billboard R&B Singles charts.
Winans released her eighth album, Thy Kingdom Come on April 1, 2008, featuring the single "Waging War". On October 6, 2009, a BeBe & CeCe reunion album named Still was released. It is the ninth album released by the brother / sister duo. The album was released under Malaco Records and features collaborations with Marvin Winans and contemporary gospel sisters duo Mary Mary.
On December 23, 2010, Cece along with Bebe Winans & Mary Mary, featuring the West Angeles Choir, performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
From 2012-2014, Winans was a judge on BET's gospel singing competition, Sunday Best, along with her brother Bebe.
CeCe now resides in Brentwood, Tennessee (a suburb of Nashville) with her husband Alvin Love and two children, Ashley and Alvin Love III. Her children were featured in the BeBe & CeCe Winans music video "If Anything Ever Happened to You". Alvin III also appeared in the music video for "Well, Alright." She and her husband Alvin Love II pastor Nashville Life Church in Nashville, where they serve as the lead servants and their children are involved in the ministry.
CeCe was a good friend of Whitney Houston and godmother to her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. She performed "Don't Cry for Me" and "Jesus Loves Me" at Houston's funeral, at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey on February 18, 2012. Winans is also a good friend of Bridget E. Hilliard, co-pastor of New Light Christian Center (Houston, Austin, Beaumont, Texas).
CeCe has authored three books: On A Positive Note, a collection of her memoirs released August 1, 2000; and Throne Room: Ushered Into the Presence of God, a devotional released January 1, 2004 and co-authored with Claire Cloninger. Always Sisters: Becoming the Princess You Were Created to Be, released on July 17, 2007 and co-written with Claudia Mair Burney.
In 2009, CeCe announced her support for a multicultural Christian education curriculum from Abingdon Press, entitled "On the Move: God's Grace from Place to Place."
Guest appearances & soundtracks
1994: "Rest in Me" Coram Deo II: People Of Praise (Sparrow)
1996: "Count On Me" with Whitney Houston Waiting To Exhale Soundtrack(Arista)
1996: "Take Me Back" Tribute: The Songs Of Andrae Crouch (Warner Alliance)
1997: "All Is Well Tonight" God With Us: A Celebration Of Christmas Carols... (Sparrow)
1998: "The River" The Prince Of Egypt: Inspirational (DreamWorks)
1998: "Humanity" The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack (DreamWorks)
2000: "Tonight Tonight" BeBe Winans (featuring CeCe) (Motown)
2006: "He Set My Life To Music" Barbara Mandrell She Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool (BNA)
2006: "Walking Away" The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle (Umbrella)
2008: "Right Now (We Need Another)" BeBe & CeCe Winans with Vince Gill and Wynonna Judd (Zomba Recording)
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