CeCe Winans is coming to the Kuss Auditorium on Saturday. CONTRIBUTED

Gospel music legend CeCe Winans to grace Clark State PAC

CeCe Winans has captured 12 Grammy Awards out of 21 nominations, 23 Gospel Music Assn. Dove Awards, 15 Stellar Gospel Music Awards and is the best-selling female gospel music artist of all time with more than 12 million records sold.

You may think such a voice was sent from above to earn so many accolades and Winans likely wouldn’t deny that as her motivator.

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“I’m very humbled by all the awards I have ever received,” Winans said. “I do what I do unto the Lord, and my prayer every time I release a project or step on any platform is that God would be glorified. If God is glorified, people will be blessed.”

The gospel legend will raise the Kuss Auditorium roof at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Clark State Performing Arts Center, which is presenting the concert as part of its 25th anniversary season.

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PAC executive director Adele Adkins has long wanted to bring a gospel performer to Springfield. When speaking to churches and community members about what type of performer they’d like to see, Winans’ name was frequently mentioned.

Winans is from a family of professional gospel singers and teamed with brother BeBe to become a top gospel duo for years before going on to solo careers in the mid 1990s, cranking out nine albums.

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Her best friend was late pop legend Whitney Houston and she worked with her on several projects. In the past few years, though, Winans has stepped away from recording to pursue other things, including becoming co-pastor and starting Nashville Life Church in Tennessee with husband Alvin Love II.

While it may seem a curious choice for someone who touched lives through her music, she’s glad for the detour.

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“Pastoring a church was the furthest thing from my husband’s and my mind, but God had a different plan and we said yes,” Winans said. “The commitment is great but it’s so worth it. Winning souls and making disciples is the best investment anyone can make.”

The recording studio beckoned Winans back in 2017 for her first new album in several years, “Let Them Fall in Love.” It would be hard to call it a comeback album considering it went straight to the top of the gospel chart on release.

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My latest project was different musically in some ways, but I think it captured who I’ve always been in a new and fresh way,” Winans said.

Winans is grateful for those who’ve supported her journey and said she couldn’t have accomplished anything without the love and prayers of her fan base.

“I never meant for that much time to go by,” she said. “Once we were able to get the church in a place where it was flowing consistently I was able to focus on music again. I am looking forward to having a great time in Springfield. My team and I are coming to share the love of God with everyone.”

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