5 Hours, 13 Minutes, 24 Seconds with CeCe Winans
- Friday, June 18, 2004
When CeCe Winans’ plane touched down in Nashville at 11:50 a.m., she almost hit the ground running – literally. She had just 12 hours and 10 minutes to set her house in order, keep things moving forward on her next album and be ready to board a bus bound for Austin, Texas, for the next leg of her 40-city tour. This “road trip” includes stops at mega churches for a praise & worship-filled concert of music from her latest, "Throne Room" (Purespring/INO/Epic). And the best part for the fans? Free admission.
Fasten your seat belt – it’s gonna be a fast ride.
Even though an artist’s life in the spotlight seems glamorous, there are a few mundane basics of life that everyone faces – death, taxes and laundry. After unpacking, CeCe demonstrates she can be a domestic diva as she cleans up her act. However, we note that her laundry room is not exactly like yours or mine: Hers doubles as a beauty parlor with a beautician’s sink and dryer.
After sorting through the mail and phone messages, she and her husband of 19 years, Alvin, jump in the SUV and head south to Franklin, Tenn. (a suburb of Nashville), for a late lunch at a deli just two doors down from the famous Bennett House recording studio where Keith Thomas (Amy Grant, Vanessa Williams, Selena, The Gaither Vocal Band) is working his producer’s magic on her next album.
CeCe orders the soup-and-sandwich combo. For those who crave explicit details, she requested tomato basil soup and half of a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, a dab of mustard and provolone cheese.
With lunch on the table and a quick blessing, we recap recent history. She and Alvin have spent the past three days in New Orleans hanging out with their 16-year-old daughter, Ashley, and one of her schoolmates, who were on spring break. She notes that seafood and Cajun specialties were the main attraction, followed by lots of walking and window-shopping to exercise those calories away. Clearly proud of the balance his wife maintains, Alvin says, “When she puts that microphone down on the stage, she picks up her ‘mom mantle,’” which she clearly wears with enthusiasm.
CeCe mentions she is currently in the care of a voice doctor. Now here’s the shocking revelation of the day: “It turns out I’ve been doing it wrong all along – singing wrong, talking wrong, everything,” she confesses. Doesn’t seem to have held her back, huh? She’s being coached on how to breathe and emote so her voice will remain in top shape for years to come. Good news for us!
Walking down Fourth Avenue in Franklin, CeCe delivers a singing telegram to her mother-in-law on Alvin’s cell phone. Even her rendition of “Happy Birthday” has that marvelous note-bending touch that is sooo CeCe.
We duck into a drug store to indulge CeCe’s prevalent passion: greeting cards. Although she enjoys looking for clothes and accessories – especially shoes and purses that match, she is all about greeting cards. “Every card has to be the right card,” she emphasizes. Just how committed is she to this? “I’ve prayed for the right card,” she confesses. With the expansive Winans family, plus eight godchildren and a horde of friends, she’s always on a quest. Today’s search for her father’s 70th birthday doesn’t turn up a winner – but she’ll keep looking. Count on it.
She slips out the back door and strolls over to the Bennett House to talk about the tracks that have already been recorded. Keith, keyboard extraordinaire and technological genius, gives CeCe a friendly hug and quickly settles into a conversation about the songs CeCe has reviewed on the road. Switching gears from the highly meditative album "Throne Room," she’s revving things up with a full-force pop/R&B adventure. Her critique is punctuated with an abundance of praise: “I don’t know what you’re doing to get that, but it’s like woooo,” accompanied by a blissful look toward heaven. Among the new arrivals was a second, completely different arrangement for one of the songs she already loved. Conspiratorially she advises, “They did this other one when I was gone.” The merits of both were discussed without a firm decision made.
Recently on Music
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content