Who cannot wait for the hottest birthday concert ticket in London? I cannot! Six-time Grammy award-winning gospel and RnB singer-songwriter, Benjamin ‘BeBe’ Winans of the famous multi-generational, multi-award winning, Winans Family, one of USA’s most recognised Gospel Music dynasties is coming to town. BeBe decided he needs to jump on a plane and leave his usual big birthday haunts of New York City, where he had his 45th and 50th celebrity-studded birthday concerts, to go across the pond and bring London his 60th Birthday. So, the Dominion Centre in Wood Green, London is the destination on the 16th. September. Winans was waiting with bated breath as his plans were almost hampered by Covid restrictions, ‘I thought, this needs to happen, is it going to happen?’ Well thankfully, it is happening and in true BeBe Winans style, he will be bringing some big Bosses including Donnie McClurkin (We Fall Down) and VaShawn Mitchell (Nobody Greater), Duchess of Gospel, Karen Clark-Sheard, (You Loved Me), and America’s Got Talent 2021 sensational group, Korean Soul. They will be supported by our very own, award-winning LCGC. So hold on to your hats, this will be a night to remember!
BeBe has had a lasting and beautiful affinity for London; it was always in his long-term plan of having his 60th Birthday concert here. When his brothers, Marvin, Carvin, Roland, and Michael known as the group, The Winans blasted on to the international gospel scene with their first album ‘Introducing the Winans….” on Light Records sparked a positive chain reaction for the whole family, who are mostly all in the gospel music industry. BeBe was doing his part helping to promote the album. The family support, encouragement, opinion, and effort is part of the Winans way of working, “If one Winans wins, everyone wins and if one Winans fails, we all fail’. In the early 80s, The Winans performed a 3-night sell out concerts at the Shaw Theatre, London; it was then that UK got a taste of the Winans talent, originality, and spirituality. It was not long before BeBe and his sister, Priscilla ‘CeCe’ Winans came together as BeBe and Cece and was a successful duo, wowing London at the Hackney Empire in 1989. They released seven albums together before they decided to venture out on their solo careers. During his time in the UK, BeBe came to know Bazil Meade and established a long friendship with him. It was Bazil he called to organise his London birthday bash. BeBe went from being known in the church world, to being a household name in the UK and Europe when he collaborated with London RnB Group, Eternal on I Wanna Be The Only One released on Eternal’s third album, Before the Rain (1997). The track rose to the top of the UK single’s charts. BeBe had previously produced Eternal’s Crazy (1994) and Power of a Woman (1995). I Wanna Be The Only One was Eternal’s biggest hit and the most played tracked by a British Act in 1997 earning them a MOBO and Capital FM Award for Best Single, and was voted number 28 by the Official Charts of the top 100 tracks for a female band of the last 25 years in 2019.
You would think BeBe Winans has had a 15-year hiatus, as we have not seen him on stage, however, he has not been putting his feet up or basking on a sunny beach in all that time. In fact, he has been working behind the scenes, as Executive Music Director on Oprah Winfrey’s hit church based drama ‘Greenleaf.’ He has also been producing, song writing, acting, book writing and so much more across film, TV, and theatre, and church, therefore its not surprising to hear that this go-getter, has written a gospel musical about himself and his family, called ‘Born for This.’ The musical was inspired by a conversation he was having with singer, Roberta Flack and in mid-conversation she interrupted and said, “BeBe you need to write a musical about you and your family”. Four days later, BeBe took out his laptop and completed writing the first draft of ‘Born For This’. Little did he know, it would take an additional 15 years of mastery for the musical to go from Off Broadway and about to hit Broadway. I asked him about what song in the play that moved him the most and he replied with ease, “Seventh Son,”. That makes him emotional as it is based on his mother, Delores Winans praying for him when he was going through problems. At some point in the future, he plans to bring the ‘Born For This’ to London and we again cannot wait, however, we have to be patient. First, we have to celebrate – and what better way to celebrate than a birthday?! I know BeBe’s 60th Birthday concert will be one of those moments, that if you were not there, you would have missed an unforgettable, iconic experience!
For tickets: https://www.glofestinternational.com/
Written by: Marlene Cato