When she was just seven years old, CeCe Winans heard the call of God. She stood in front of her church's congregation to sing "Fill My Cup, Lord" and felt that God wanted her to use her talent in his service. After winning eight Grammy Awards, she continues to follow that divine directive today.
The singer has come a long way from her childhood in urban Detroit. She and her husband, Alvin Love, live in a tall stone house in a gated community near Nashville. In a large room containing floor-to-ceiling windows and their grand piano, things feel a little empty—until the Loves walk in. Then things come to life.
CeCe's often-photographed smile isn't just for publicity shots; it's the real thing. The Loves laugh a lot. In fact, it's clear that joy still marks CeCe's relationship with Alvin, just as it has since she met him when she was still a teenager.
CeCe grew up harmonizing with her seven brothers and two sisters in the now-famous Winans family. Her hardworking parents made sure each child understood God's saving grace, which gave the siblings a compelling reason to sing gospel music. CeCe's oldest four brothers became the award-winning group The Winans. CeCe and her brother BeBe became a popular duo and, later, successful solo artists. And her two younger sisters are recording as well.
By the age of 17, CeCe had graduated from high school and had enrolled in beauty school. But recognizing her musical talent, Mom and Pop Winans allowed her to move with BeBe to North Carolina so they could sing on the "PTL Show." One weekend, when CeCe and BeBe were visiting in Detroit, the family went bowling with a few friends, including a new acquaintance named Alvin Love.1