For many years the microphone of Grammy winning vocalist Bebe Winans collected dust as he took on acting, wrote and produced hits for others, became an author and crafted a play about his journey to stardom with his long-time duet partner and sister CeCe (tentatively titled “From Detroit to Pineville”).
“I stopped singing for a long time because it just wasn’t something I was very passionate about,” the baby boy of the first family of contemporary gospel music said.
Premiering “If God Be For Us” (a song he penned) recently at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, Bebe debuted in the newly formed group 3WB (3 Winans Brothers) with his older twin brothers Marvin and Carvin (formerly of the famed Gospel group The Winans.) The bond of brotherhood put his desire to sing again back on top.
Winans spoke with ESSENCE.com about uniting with his brothers to reintroduce their award winning sound to today’s generation.
ESSENCE.COM: How significant was the opportunity to debut your group at the historic anniversary of the March On Washington?
BEBE WINANS: I believe faith in God was MLK's message at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago during his speech, so to be able to sing about that faith 50 years later was very significant to all of us.
ESSENCE.COM: What led to the formation of 3WB?
WINANS: A phone call to Marvin after the thought hit me of coming together with my two brothers and then with that phone call 3WB was born.
ESSENCE.COM: I recall from a past interview that your brothers wouldn’t allow you to join the group, The Winans. Is this your way of finally being a part of the group?
WINANS: Nah, that was Marvin. What’s funny is I never wanted to be in their group, but I always supported it. I used to drive for them before CeCe and I started our group. Long story short, is that we understood that with the passing of my brother Ron, The Winans was done as The Winans. I had told CeCe for a while ‘I’m about to quit. I’m tired of going out. . .’ So afterward, an idea hit me and the funny thing is it hit my brother Marvin at the same time. . .I’m very excited about the material we’ve done. I think it’s going to speak to this generation.
ESSENCE.COM: How do you plan to keep the sound current to reach today's generation?
WINANS: Bringing on producers Daniel Weatherspoon (Marvin Winans, Vashawn Mitchell) Rodney Jerkins (Lady Gaga, Ciara) will help to keep the project current.
ESSENCE.COM: Who will take the lead on most of the songs?
WINANS: All three of us, which is why this project is exciting to me. Each of us can stand on our own two feet.
ESSENCE.COM: Tell us about the album. What can we expect?
WINANS: The theme of the album is hope and the title of the album is "Foreign Land" which is a song that Marvin wrote many years ago. The style consists of a combination of The Winans’ style and BeBe & CeCe’s style of music. It will be out in the beginning of 2014.
Listen to 3WB's debut single "If God Be For Us."