The Library of Congress states “African American gospel music is an African American spiritual, which had already been around for well over a century before Gospel music began its rise to popularity starting in the 1930s.” Gospel music has it origins in African American spiritual music and call and response structure. A key figure in the advancement of gospel music was Thomas A. Dorsey, the father of gospel music. Although gospel music is a popular music genre today, it was not widely accepted when it first began because of its incorporation of styles in rhythm and blues, soul, and funk. After its acceptance with the work of Thomas A. Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson, gospel music became a widely known genre nationally and internationally. One particular gospel artist is Cece Winans.
Cece Winans was born on October 8, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan. Born Priscilla Marie Winans, Cece Winans is an American gospel singer who has made her mark in the gospel, Christian and Hip-Hop/R&B markets.
Cece Winans began her career in the early 1980s alongside her brother, Bebe Winans, and was the female singer of this group, Bebe & Cece Winans. During this time, gospel music was shifting from a more traditional style to including elements of other genres such as R&B. This incorporation of these elements can be heard in below in the song Close To You.
In 1995, Cece Winans began her solo career. Since then, she has had numerous hits such as Alabaster Box, Mercy Said No, Waging War, and Well, Alright. Her albums and singles have resulted in an accumulation of selling over 12 million records, winning 12 GRAMMY awards, and winning Dove Awards. Cece Winans released her newest album in 2017, where the she crossed over once again with the song, Never Have To Be Alone, with over 1 million views on YouTube.