|Birth name||Benjamin Winans|
|Born||September 17, 1962|
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, producer|
Benjamin "BeBe" Winans (born September 17, 1962) is an American gospel and R&B singer. He is a member of the noted Winans family, most members of which are also gospel artists.
He released several albums, first with his sister CeCe Winans, and later as a solo artist. Jim Bakker's television show The PTL Club took interest in BeBe and his sister CeCe as background vocalists for the show. After going to North Carolina to audition they were accepted. BeBe and CeCe moved to the PTL campus in North Carolina, and were on the show for about five years.
During their time on PTL, BeBe and CeCe recorded "Lord Lift Us Up" on PTL's label after popular demand on the show. Eventually the success warranted another effort: a full-length album. The album did well on the charts. BeBe and CeCe left PTL to pursue their singing career and recorded five albums together including self-titled BeBe & CeCe Winans, Heaven, Different Lifestyles, First Christmas and Relationships. In 1995, BeBe and CeCe split up to pursue solo careers. But in 2009 they did the album "Still" together. On it was the song "Close to You," which won a Dove award in 2010 in the category of Urban Recorded Song.
In 1989, BeBe won his first Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male for his contribution to "Abundant Life", a track on his brother Ronald's Family & Friends Choir.
BeBe signed with Atlantic records and delivered a self-titled solo debut in 1997. The album featured the singles "In Harms' Way", "Thank You", and the international crossover hit "I Wanna Be the Only One" featuring British soul trio Eternal. The song topped the UK Singles Chart in Eternal's native United Kingdom in May 1997.
The next album released was the fruit of a new deal with Motown Records. Love & Freedom was released in 2000 and featured production from Warryn Campbell, Brian McKnight, Masters At Work and others. The lead single "Coming Back Home" was a slow swinging ballad featuring R&B luminaries Brian McKnight and Joe. Another single was BeBe's remake of the Stevie Wonder classic "Jesus Children of America" featuring his older brother Marvin (The Winans, Winans family) and Stevie Wonder himself.
Two years later, a live album Live & Up Close followed. The album was recorded live at BET studios and featured guests such as his sister Debra Winans-Lowe and Stephanie Mills. The set was released on both CD & DVD. The CD included the studio version of "Do You Know Him?" which served as the album's first single.
By 2003, BeBe had started his own record label, The Movement Group, and partnered with Still Waters, an inspirational and gospel imprint of Hidden Beach Recordings.The first album under this deal was 2004's largely orchestral holiday album entitled My Christmas Prayer which first appeared exclusively for sale at Starbucks coffee shops nationwide. Between releases, BeBe made his film debut with a small role in the 2004 remake (featuring Denzel Washington) of The Manchurian Candidate .
Early the next year, BeBe released his third proper solo album Dream featuring the single "I Have A Dream".The song featured samples of the historic speech by Martin Luther King, and was released to several radio stations to coincide with King's birthday celebrations. The cover of the album features a hand painted portrait of BeBe standing in front of a Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. street sign. Also "Miracle Of Love," a duet with Angie Stone included on the album, also appeared on a soundtrack of songs inspired by the film The Passion Of The Christ.
Winans performed a duet with Eden Espinosa on the 2008 Alma Awards which was broadcast on ABC on September 12. 2008. Winans and Espinosa sang "I Don't Know Much" as a tribute to honoree Linda Ronstadt. Bebe performed "Born for This" on the Obama/Biden Inauguration tribute Change is Now CD+DVD set. BeBe & CeCe Winans had confirmed a reunion album scheduled for early 2009.
Winans hosts his own nationally syndicated radio program, The BeBe Winans Radio Show. BeBe Winans has starred in Broadway's The Color Purple as Harpo as of January 9, 2008. He is starring alongside Chaka Khan who is playing his wife, Sofia.
Winans was one of the judges for a gospel music competition show on BET called Sunday Best , along with gospel duo Mary Mary. He was invited to participate in the remake of "We Are The World" to benefit Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Bebe together with Cece and Mary Mary featuring the West Angeles Choir performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno .
In 2012, Winans released The Whitney I Knew, a memoir about Whitney Houston, who had died earlier that year. Winans was a close friend of the singer, and sang at her funeral.
In March 2014, Winans joined British pop/R&B group Eternal at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, to perform the number one hit "I Wanna Be the Only One", as part of The Big Reunion live shows.
In November 2007, BeBe Winans filed suit in Davidson County (Tenn.) Circuit Court against his former business manager, Eric Peterson. His claims included breach of a managerial contract and of fiduciary duties, as well as fraud. Peterson managed Winans from early 2002 until early 2007. In the lawsuit, a copy of which is available through this link,Winans asserted that Peterson stole from him and took advantage of his trust. An example given by Winans was that in February 2002, "Mr. Peterson induced Mr. Winans to execute a power of attorney, representing that it was required to permit Mr. Peterson to perform his services. In fact, on December 31, 2004, Mr. Peterson used the power of attorney to execute a promissory note purporting to obligate Mr. Winans to pay Mr. Peterson himself the sum of $150,000."
BeBe Winans was arrested March 11, 2009 on charges of domestic assault for allegedly pushing his ex-wife to the ground in front of their children during an argument. According to a court filing, Winans and his former spouse got into a "verbal altercation" on February 13 about "custody issues dealing with their children."
On December 4, 2009, the domestic assault criminal charges against Bebe Winans were dismissed.An AP news report indicates the court action resulted from a pre-trial diversion deal offered by the prosecution, calling for Winans to attend domestic violence counseling in exchange for dismissal of the charges.
The Whitney I Knew, Worthy Publishing, July 2012 ISBN 9781617950841