VERZUZ Easter Special: BeBe & CeCe Winans and Mary Mary

BeBe and CeCe vs. Mary Mary flyer

Sibling duos Mary Mary and BeBe and CeCe Winans will meet up on Easter Sunday for a celebration of music famously known as VERZUZ.

Created by GRAMMY® award-winning producers and entrepreneurs Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, VERZUZ was launched in March 2020. What started as a battle between two friendly rivals has grown into a global phenomenon that celebrates some of the greatest artists of our time, including gospel’s Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin, highlighting their careers and generating powerful surges in sales and streams.

Sisters Erica and Tina Campbell (née Atkins), who make up the gospel duo Mary Mary, began singing in the church choir as girls and have broken the gospel barrier and found mainstream success. Prior to their 2000 debut album Thankful (featuring the hit single “Shackles”) and 2002 album Incredible, the sisters joined the traveling gospel show Mama I’m Sorry (1995) and toured individually as backup singers and writers for various R&B groups. The duo has two Grammy wins. The Atkins sisters grew up in Inglewood, CA, so it was befitting that they were chosen to perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before the start of SuperBowl LVI at the newly opened SoFi Stadium.

Detroit-born brother-sister duo BeBe and CeCe Winans carry a great lineage as members of the gospel dynasty, The Winans. Although they have had individual success, nothing compares to the affectionate sound that is sparked by their musical union. They first appeared in the public eye as young teens when they debuted in 1982 as a part of the singing group The PTL Singers on the television show, The PTL Club. But their musical journey began in 1987 when they were offered a recording contract by Sparrow Records. Their debut release topped the R&B and inspirational charts, yielding a Grammy award along with Dove and Stellar awards for the self-titled project. They continued to gain success with the releases of Heaven and Different Lifestyles earning them the #1 slot on the Billboard sales charts. The duo later branched out and pursued solo careers. CeCe has since garnered fifteen Grammys and BeBe six along with several urban/inspirational awards and accolades.

HOW TO WATCH: Tune in at 9:30 pm ET on, in the @triller app, on VERZUZ IG, Facebook, or Youtube. Watch in HD with the #TrillerVerzPass on

– From a media release

2021 GMA Dove Awards: CeCe Winans collects four statuettes

Published October 26, 2021, at 4:01 PM ET
Updated October 27, 2021, at 5:32 PM ET

Photo Credit | Terry Wyatt

Nashville, TN (October 26, 2021) – The 52nd Annual GMA Dove Awards were recently handed out in 38 categories at the Allen Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Under the banner Stronger Together, Christian/Gospel music’s biggest night of the year stressed a theme of racial harmony in light of America’s polarization following the birth of COVID-19 and the death of George Floyd. The show was hosted by gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds, and Christian Pop star Natalie Grant, who lost thousands of social media followers when she condemned Floyd’s killing last year.

The biggest winner of the night was gospel legend CeCe Winans, who won four awards, including Gospel Artist of the Year. Draped in an angelic silver and black gown with feathers, she belted out the title track of her album, “Believe for It,” to standing ovations when she opened and concluded the dramatic performance. Later, R&B star and Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton, along with gospel showman Pastor Mike Jr., presented her the Gospel Artist of the Year trophy.

“I’m honored to lift up the name of Jesus,” Winans said, echoing the evening’s theme. “I’m so glad for all of my brothers and sisters and it’s time we understand the importance of unity because it’s through us really loving each other that the whole world is going to come to know who He is.”

Although he wasn’t in attendance, Marvin Sapp won Traditional Gospel Album of the Year for his project, Chosen Vessel. Jekalyn Carr took home the statuette for Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for her track, “Changing Your Story.” Lecrae picked up the 11th Dove of his career for “Deep End,” which won Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song of the Year. KB took home the prize Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year for his set, His Glory Alone

After 2020’s virtual show, the music community reunited this year with stellar live performances which included Lauren Daigle’s haunting ballad “Hold on to Me” and a chill-inducing rendition of “My Weapon” by Natalie Grant. There were also one-of-a-kind collaborations that lit up the stage such as rapper KB with British worship leader Matt Redman, Jonathan McReynolds with Mali Music, and Dante Bowe with Kelontae Gavin. The show also paid tribute to the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ 150th anniversary with a montage of the choir’s history.

The ground-breaking, multi-racial music collective, Maverick City Music – currently the only act sharing space in Billboard’s Gospel Streaming Songs chart with Kanye West – performed their big hit, “Jireh” that featured solos by Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine. They also ended up winning the New Artist of the Year award.

For the complete list of winners, click here

The GMA Dove Awards aired Friday, October 22, on Trinity Broadcasting Network. If you missed it, you can view it on YouTube.

– From a press release

Winans wins pair of trophies at 60th Annual Grammy Awards

Congratulations to gospel and CCM’s winners at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, announced last evening (January 28, 2018) in Los Angeles.  

Best Gospel Performance/Song 
“Never Have to Be Alone” – CeCe Winans
Written by CeCe Winans, Dwan Hill, and Alvin Love III

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

“What A Beautiful Name” – Hillsong Worship
Written by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood

Best Gospel Album
Let Them Fall In Love– CeCe Winans

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Chain Breaker– Zach Williams

Best Roots Gospel Album
Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope– Reba McEntire

Winans celebrated her wins from Nashville Life Church in Tennessee, where she and her husband Alvin Love are pastors. 

A post shared by CeCe Winans (@cecewinans) on

See the full list of 2018 Grammy Award winners here.

BeBe and CeCe to be inducted in GMA Gospel Hall of Fame

Congratulations to BeBe and CeCe Winans, who are among this year’s inductees into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.  The honors ceremony will be held May 5, 2015, at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville. Bishop Paul Morton, Founding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International and noted singer/recording artist, will also be honored.

Read more here: Gospel Music Association Announces Hall of Fame Inductees & Honorees

BeBe and CeCe Winans get Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Congratulations to BeBe and CeCe Winans, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today.  They are now among the very short list of gospel artists (James Cleveland, Andrae Crouch, and Mahalia Jackson) who have been honored similarly.

BeBe and CeCe have consistently charted with their music, including hits “Addictive Love” and their cover of the Staples Singers’ “I’ll Take You There.”  They have enjoyed massive mainstream success–gold and platinum albums and a host of Grammy, Dove, Soul Train, Stellar, and NAACP Image Awards–throughout their decades-long career as a duo. 

McClurkin headlines McDonald’s Gospelfest, talks about competitiveness in gospel music

By Libra Boyd

Shaundria Williams contributed to this feature

This is the second of a two-part feature with pastor and singer Donnie McClurkin.
Donnie McClurkin
“If you take a drive through any community, you will see the golden arches,” speaks Donnie McClurkin of the most recognized fast food chain in the world, “and if you drive through any community, you will see the entity of McDonald’s…has been wise enough to discern that the real pulse of the community is the church.”
McDonald’s Gospelfest returns to the New York Tri-State area on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.  The auditions are complete and competitors are preparing to share the stage with some of the biggest names in Gospel including Kirk Franklin, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, James Fortune & FIYA, Bobby Jones, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and the one and only Donnie McClurkin.
The competition, originated in 1983, showcases talent in several categories ranging from soloists and choirs to dance, step, groups, instrumentalists and gospel rappers. 

McClurkin is headlining this particular talent competition, and he will soon be seen in the judge’s chair on another.  McClurkin, who has signed onto BET’s Sunday Best again this season, recently talked with GMF about the McDonald’s Gospelfest, competition in gospel music, and some of his favorite new artists.

GMF:  Please explain the appropriateness of competition in the body of Christ.
McClurkin:  I don’t see it as competition.  I see it as iron sharpening iron.  I don’t see it as us competing; I see it as me being able to draw from you or critique you.  If you’re doing something right, I want to learn from it; if you’re doing something wrong, I gotta critique it and I gotta tell ya, “Hey, hey, that’s not gonna work.”  Even with Sunday Best, we’re sitting there…a thousand people come past us in every city, and [we’re] sitting there going, “Next!  Oh my God, no–don’t ever sing again!  Please, don’t ever–”  It’s all in fun, but it’s also to make sure people stay in their lane and in their place. So from that level, there’s no competition.  
On the level of myself…Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans, Kim Burrell…there’s no competition.  Donald Lawrence–no competition.  We sharpen each other, and we sit back and wait to see who’s coming out with what CD…and it inspires us to go in and do more.  So that keeps the fresh move in the gospel industry, musically.  It keeps us on our toes and it makes sure that we get the best of quality, because we don’t compete, we compel and we push one another to do better.
GMF:  Along the lines of iron sharpening iron, who are some of your favorite up and coming artists?
McClurkin:   There’s a girl named Preashea Hilliard; she’s got a great CD!  “Fresh Fire” is one of the greatest songs.  Then you’ve got Forever Jones–the whole family–mother, father and kids.  They’ve got a great song out called “He Wants It All.”  There are some great artists coming up that you have never even heard of like Brittney Wright, people like Maurice Griffin, and even Duward Davis, and the list goes on…LeAndria Johnson…they are the new guys coming up and it’s our job to make space for them….Kirk Franklin is pushing Isaac Caree, and I’m taking Andrea Mellini and pushing her.  So, all of us are taking artists and pushing them; Donald Lawrence took DeWayne Woods and Sheri Jones-Moffett.  We’re bringing up these new artists, putting them out in the foreground, so that we can disappear one day.
GMF:   The Gospelfest takes place Father’s Day weekend.  Talk to us about your father or father figure and the impact he has had on your ministry.
McClurkin:  Well, there are two. (Read McClurkin’s complete response Father’s Day weekend right here on GMF, where he’ll talk openly about his biological father.)
GMF:  Beyond the gentlemen that are featured in the Gospelfest, will there be community leaders that will be honored as men of valor?
McClurkin:  Possibly.  We always do something for people who’ve passed away like Walter Hawkins and Albertina Walker; so some people will be honored.
Tickets for McDonald’s Gospelfest can be purchased at the Prudential Center Box Office or through Ticketmaster by calling 800.745.3000, or at For further information, please call the McDonald’s Gospelfest Hotline at 866.898.7772.