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The Winans
Background Information





Years Active

1980 - Present


Light Records
Qwest/Warner Bros.


Marvin Winans
Carvin Winans
Michael Winans

Past Members

Ronald Winans (deceased)

Associated Acts

BeBe & CeCe Winans
BeBe Winans
CeCe Winans Vickie Winans
Mario Winans
Angie & Debbie
Winans family
Robert Kelly
Fred Hammond

The Winans are an Gospel music quartet from Detroit, Michigan consisting of brothers Marvin, Carvin, Michael and Ronald Winans.

The Winans were pioneers in the field of contemporary gospel, updating the sound and style of traditional black gospel vocal groups for the urban contemporary age. While they weren't the first group to do so, they were probably the most important factor in popularizing the style, paving the way for countless urban-style gospel groups to follow -- including numerous other members of their own, confusingly large family tree. The Winans were composed of brothers Marvin, Carvin, Ronald, and Michael, all of whom were born in Detroit and raised in a strict, loving Christian environment. Their parents later recorded together as Mom & Pop Winans, and their other family spinoff acts included Daniel, Vickie, brother and sister BeBe & CeCe, and Angie & Debbie; plus, their own sons went on to form the third-generation group Winans Phase 2. All of that came later, though. The four brothers, like the rest of their siblings, grew up singing in gospel choirs, and decided to form a professional quartet in their twenties.

Musical career


Brothers Ronald, Marvin Winans, Carvin, and Michael Winans (the second, third, fourth and fifth siblings of the Winans family) grew up in Detroit and were discovered by Andrae Crouch, who signed them to Light Records.


Their first record, Introducing The Winans was produced in 1981. They performed vocals in This is America, Charlie Brown's segment "The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad" in 1989. Their style was noted for its crossover efforts and received airplay on R&B radio. The group's last recording was in 1995, but they have subsequently been involved in various Winans family projects where they are credited as "The Winans" (e.g. November 2000's Christmas: Our Gifts To You).


Studio albums

Year Album details Chart positions Music recording sales Certifications
(List of music recording sales certifications|sales thresholds)
Billboard 200|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums|US
Billboard charts|US
Billboard charts|US
1981 Introducing The Winans
  • Released: 1981
  • Label: Light Records|Light
1983 Long Time Comin'
  • Released: 1983
  • Label: Light
1984 Tomorrow
  • Released: 1984
  • Label: Light
1985 Let My People Go
  • Released: August 1, 1985
  • Label: Qwest Records|Qwest / Warner Bros. Records|Warner Bros.
57 1
1987 Decisions (The Winans album)|Decisions
  • Released: September 1, 1987
  • Label: Qwest / Warner Bros.
109 30 1 12
1988 Live At Carnegie Hall
  • Released: 1988
  • Label: Qwest / Warner Bros.
13 22
1990 Return
  • Released: April 24, 1990
  • Label: Qwest / Warner Bros.
90 12 1 4
  • Recording Industry Association of America: Gold
1993 All Out
  • Released: August 24, 1993
  • Label: Qwest / Warner Bros.
41 15 9
  • US Sales: 79,000
1995 Heart & Soul
  • Released: October 24, 1995
  • Label: Qwest / Warner Bros.
3 12
2000 Christmas: Our Gifts to You
  • Released: November 14, 2000
  • Label: Diamante Music Group|Diamante
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Album details Chart positions Music recording sales certification|Certifications
(List of music recording sales certifications|sales thresholds)
Billboard charts|US
1990 The Best Of The Winans
  • Released: October 17, 1990
  • Label: Light
1994 Feel the Spirit
  • Released: May 15, 1994
  • Label: Metacom Music
1995 The Light Years
  • Released: November 7, 1995
  • Label: Light
2002 Legends Of Gospel
  • Released: February 19, 2002
  • Label: Light
The Very Best Of The Winans
  • Released: April 16, 2002
  • Label: Rhino Entertainment
2003 Great Family Of Gospel
  • Released: September 4, 2003
  • Label: EMI Gospel
2004 Gospel Greats
  • Released: April 6, 2004
  • Label: Flashback / Rhino
2005 The Definitive Original Greatest Hits
  • Released: August 23, 2005
  • Label: V2 Records|Artemis Gospel
2008 Gospel Legacy
  • Released: January 22, 2008
  • Label: Light
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart positions<ref name="billboard" Album
UK Singles Chart|UK
1985 "Let My People Go" 42 71 Let My People Go
"Very Real Way"
1986 "The Real Meaning of Christmas" The Real Meaning of Christmas (Maxi-single)/"Decisions (The Winans album)|Decisions"
1987 "Ain't No Need To Worry" (feat. Anita Baker) 15 Decisions
"Love Has No Color" (feat. Michael McDonald)
"Give Me You"
1989 "Lean On Me" (with Thelma Houston) 73 Lean On Me (Soundtrack)
1990 "It's Time" (featuring Teddy Riley) 5 Return
"A Friend" (featuring Aaron Hall) 11
"When You Cry" 40
1991 "Don't Leave Me" 34
1993 "Payday" (featuring R. Kelly) 74 All Out
1994 "That Extra Mile"
1995 "Heart & Soul" 89 Heart & Soul
1996 "Count It All Joy"
"Standing On Promises
"—" denotes the single failed to chart or was not released


  • Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album: All Out (1993)
  • Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group, Choir Or Chorus: The Winans Live At Carnegie Hall (1988)
  • Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir Or Chorus: "Ain't No Need To Worry" (The Winans featuring Anita Baker) (1987)
  • Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir Or Chorus: "Let My People Go" (1986)
  • Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male: "Bring Back The Days Of Yea And Nay" (Marvin Winans) (1985)
  • Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir Or Chorus: "Tomorrow" (1985)

See also