After over 30 years of testifying to Bebe Winans music, we thought we knew everything about one half of gospel’s dynamic duo Bebe & CeCe Winans. He’s from a big family. Check. He’s from Detroit. Check. He was born Benjamin Glenn. Hold up, what?

“That’s what’s been the joy of doing the book, Born for This, as well as the musical, because people don’t really know our story,” said BeBe Winans during a recent episode of Yes, Girl! podcast, that’s available now.

“But my father’s parents were never married, so he was born out of wedlock and his father denied it was his child. My father took on his mother’s name, which was Laura Glenn,” said Winans to hosts Charli Penn, Cori Murray and guest cohost Julee Wilson. Although Winans’ father had a rocky relationship with his father, he loved his grandfather, I. W. Winans.

“Before my great grandfather passed, he came to my father and said, you love me, right? And my father said, yes, I love you. He said, well, I want my name to remain in this earth. He said, change your name. And my father said yes,” said Winans. “And he marched us down to the courthouse and he changed our names from Glenn to Winans.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA – OCTOBER 20: BeBe and CeCe Winans with their family attend the ceremony honoring BeBe and CeCe Winans with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 20, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

More reflections from his life are revealed in Winans’ book, Born for This: My Story In Music (available October 15). The autobiography comes on the heels of his new solo project, Need You. The album, which is comprised of 11 tracks, is a mix of gospel classics, R&B and a cover of Luther Vandross’, “Power of Love/Love Power.”

“I think this is my best work ever,” Winans shared, who had been out of the spotlight for 10 years. “I’ve always been more passionate about writing than singing. So if I had to choose, I would have always chosen writing. But there are songs on this album that will remind you of some of those other songs. But it’s my journey of what’s happened the last 10 years of my life. You know, I think that it would hit home.”

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