Len “Muddy” Mardeusz
BeBe and CeCe Winans charted new territory for gospel singers. In 1991, the brother and sister duo made it with a Capitol album, “Different Styles.” The album went to Number 1 on the R&B charts.
More importantly, It generated back-to-back solid number 1 singles, "Addicted to Love" and "I'll Take You There" While some had mixed feelings about their crossover success, most cheered their breakthrough.
At the time BeBe said, “We have been considered controversial by some traditionalists regarding the way gospel music should sound. So at first we were kind of hesitant to explore different directions. Eventually, we decided to shake off those cares and went for it.” Consequently the duo exercised more musical freedom and with it gained more confidence in their choice.
Interestingly, “Different Styles” had some outstanding “guest” appearances by several high profile mainstream performers. Whitnet Houston sang backup vocals on “Addicted Love.” M.C. Hammer rapped on “The Blood.” Luther Vandross sang (on) and arranged, “Searching for Love.” But The clincher was the strongly traditional Mt. Calvary Baptist Church choir which appeared on one of the tracks.
“Different Styles” became a Gold Album, their second, for BeBe (Benjamin) and CeCe (Pricillla) Winans. Their previous release “Heaven”, was the first gospel album to go gold since Aretha Frankie’s , Amazing Grace in 1972. “Heaven” went Top Ten on the R&B charts. The “Without You” became a strong selling single.
The BeBe and CeCe duo have always claimed, “We send out messages of hope. Our music is from the heart and it goes straight to the hearts of others.” As a duo, their accolades include: 3 Grammy’s, 9 Dove Awards, 2 NAACP Awards, 3 Gold albums and 1 Platinum album. They are the seventh (BeBe) and eighth (CeCe) of ten children of Mom and Pop Winans, the Gospel music family. Can we give an, “AMEN”.