Friday, June 17, 2005

Ron Winans Passes Away

Ron Winans, 48, died earlier today. When I told my 20-year-old brother, he said, "You always think people like that will never die. [The Winans] raised me!"

It's true. For many, songs by the Winans and songs recorded by Ron's Family & Friends Choirs are the soundtracks to our lives. My first gospel concert ever was a Winans concert in Denver, Colorado, in 1989. I've written a little about it here. Ron Winans had a wonderful voice, could sho'nuff lead a choir, and served as a mentor to many, many gospel artists. His miraculous recovery from heart problems 8 years ago inspired many.

Here's the release that went out (I've inserted my own paragraph breaks):


(Los Angeles, CA - June 2005) -- The multi-award winning musical dynasty, The Winans Family said good bye to Ronald Winans, the second eldest of the ten siblings, on the morning of June 17th Winans endured a massive heart-attack in 1997, but because of much prayer he experienced a miraculous recovery after the doctors had given him up for dead.

In recent weeks, Ronald was admitted to the hospital for observation after the doctors realized he was retaining an abnormal amount of fluid in his body. On Thursday the doctors announced that they didn't feel Winans would make it through the night and he peacefully succumbed due to heart complications early this morning.

The entire family gathered together at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan to be with Ronald until his final moments. "The family wishes to thank everyone who joined us in prayer and will continue to extend their unwavering support during our time of loss," states the seventh son, BeBe Winans.

Winans who was to turn 49 years old on the 30th of June was part of the quartet, The Winans. The four brothers Marvin, Carvin, Michael & Ronald were discovered by contemporary gospel pioneer, singer/songwriter/ producer, Andrae Crouch. They released their first album in 1981 titled, Introducing The Winans. It was with this release that the world would become familiar with the name, Winans, which is now synonymous with gospel.

In January 2005 Winans released his final CD, Ron Winans Family & Friends V: A Celebration which was recorded live at Greater Grace in Detroit.

Brother and sister dynamic duo, Bebe & CeCe Winans made a huge impact in the music world. Their innovative, contemporary sound propelled gospel music to new heights. Their mega-hit, "Addictive Love" rested in the #1 spot on the Billboard R& B Charts for several weeks.

As a whole the family has made an incredible mark in the music industry racking up a myriad of awards and accolades. Often referred to as the first family of gospel, their achievements include 31 Grammy Awards, over 20 Stellar and Dove Awards and 6 NAACP Image Awards. Ronald will be missed but not forgotten and his contribution to the gospel music world and the church will live on forever. Arrangements are incomplete at this time.

Here's the Detroit Free Press story.

A fairly recent GospelCity interview with Ron Winans.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

No comments: