Gospel Legend CeCe Winans Lets Us Fall In Love All Over Again with Release of Highly-Anticipated First Solo Album in Nine Years
CeCe Winans has long-established her status as one of the most decorated artists in modern music history. As the best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, the Detroit native boasts a staggering 10 GRAMMY Awards, 20 Dove Awards, and seven Stellar Awards. She has released a slew of duo and solo albums that crossed genres and boundaries and influenced a generation of gospel and secular vocalists. Winans has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Nashville Music City Walk of Fame, in addition to being named a Trailblazer of Soul by BMI and garnering multiple NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Awards, Essence Awards, and more. She’s sold more than five million albums in the U.S. alone, topping the Gospel charts repeatedly while managing to cross over with smashes like “Count On Me,” her stunning duet with Whitney Houston from the multi-platinum Waiting To Exhale soundtrack; and just last year, Winans became a member of the Artist Committee for the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.
It would be easy to look back and rest on such an illustrious career; yet Winans has always had her eyes fixed firmly on the future while resting “in the center of God’s will”. Thus, it comes as little surprise that she teamed up with her son, Alvin Love III to record her First Solo album in nine years, “Let Them Fall In Love”.
Love shared his vision of the generation-bridging album with his mother about six years ago. When her son originally proposed the idea, Winans and her husband, Pastor Alvin Love, had just founded a church called Nashville Life which made it difficult to focus on recording and releasing a new project. Winans recalls being initially hesitant with the various styles which are featured on the dynamic album. However, Love was confident that he had the perfect recipe for his mother’s soul-stirring comeback. He ensured his Winans that the album would connect with the millennial generation and also re-capture the hearts of those who have supported her from the start of her eminent career.
When asked if it was peculiar taking creative direction from her son, Winans admits that it was indeed, different.
“It took him a while to convince me about some of the stuff. All of it was an adjustment. Then I got into the studio and he produced me, and he was really hard on me to get the best performances possible. But when I finally got it, I knew that this project was going to be amazing. Change is different, especially after all of this time. This record has probably received the best reviews that I’ve ever gotten in my entire career”, Winans reveals to Forward Times.
“Let Them Fall In Love” cohesively ties various genres together in a way that is both theatrical and seamless. When asked about the inspiration behind the genre-bending album, Winans replies, “The Lord” without pause. “In order to have that many styles featured cohesively at the same time, I would definitely say the Lord was the inspiration. It was to capture hearts and music in a way that I don’t think we capture often nowadays. It was all live instrumentation featured on the album and the performances were raw. Really, gospel is the base of most genres. So as I sat down with Alvin, we wanted to create a record for people who didn’t even listen to gospel music to sit down and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t even know I loved gospel music’. But at the same time, we wanted it to be so authentic with those of us who have listened to gospel music for so long. I just felt like gospel music deserved more originality and so, that’s the approach that we took together.”
It is the majestic closing and title track, “Let Them Fall In Love”, however, that seems to light Winans up more than any other. “Before I heard all the songs, I knew that ‘Let Them Fall In Love’ would be the title for the record. It was for non-believers and those who have never asked God into their hearts. It was also for those of us who have walked with him, yet walked away or got disconnected somehow; and simply have forgotten what it’s all about, which is simply being in love with Him. It’s out of that love that everything else comes.”
Winans is hitting the road in support of her spirited ninth studio album,kicking off the ‘Fall In Love Tour’ in New Orleans, LA; before gracing Houston, TX as her second tour stop at the Smart Financial Center in Sugarland.
Although the gospel legend is both eager and excited to be touring again, she realizes that ministry is serious business.
“It’s getting back in the game, for lack of a better word. But it’s not a game; it’s ministry. So it’s even more crucial and important. I’ve been getting my balance. This is my first time coming out as an artist and a co-pastor which means that there’s a lot more on my plate now. It’s just been getting into a frame of mind. Just like I had to get into a frame of mind to get into the studio after so long. I don’t think that people realize all that goes into the preparation in your emotions, spirit and mindset. It takes a lot out of you to produce what you would like to produce every night. We’re trying to create something that will ensure that people leave with something more than entertainment from me. So, I’m excited. It’s getting closer and we’ve been practicing to get all of the loose ends tied so that we can really focus on ministry. There are so many things that go into it; and you don’t want any of those things to ever override the reason you’re doing it. And that is to create an experience that will literally change lives.”
As Winans touched on the need to maintain balance in her busy life as a mother, wife, co-pastor and trailblazing artist in her own right; she reflects on how difficult such a daunting task can be.
“You know, it’s so funny because balance HAD become easier. And then pastoring was added to our equation. And I thought, God, you have got to be kidding”, she jokes. “But God worked it out. I’m here really supporting my husband 100% but we both preach; and my son and daughter preach, so it’s more of a family ministry. God set that up in a way where it wasn’t too much placed solely on me. So when He calls you, if you stay close to Him, He will give you wisdom to balance. The #1 way to keep everything balanced, for me, emotionally, spiritually, and physically; is to keep God first. I strive for everything that I do to come out of my relationship with Him. It’s my ultimate goal out of my relationship with God.”
Multi-platinum artist CeCe Winans will hit the stage for the ‘Fall In Love Tour’ at the Smart Financial Center in Sugarland, TX on Thursday, June 1 at 8:00 PM. The highly-anticipated tour is sponsored by Medi-Share; a healthcare sharing ministry which is an organized way in which Christians share their money to pay for each other’s eligible medical bills.