Artists from Detroit by Jasmine Battie

Vanessa Bell Armstrong – Gospel Singer


Vanessa Bell Armstrong, an artist steeped in the enduring gospel traditions of Detroit’s black churches, did much to blaze the trail that later artists could follow. But when Armstrong first began to merge sacred and secular in her music, she had to endure criticism and has received insufficient credit for her part in creating an extremely significant musical movement.

“Vanessa Bell Armstrong.” Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 24. Detroit: Gale, 2000. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

David Winans – Gospel singer


David “Pop” Winans was patriarch of a clan widely known as the “first family of gospel music.” His seven sons and three daughters all went on to acclaimed careers in sacred music, and their records won numerous Grammy Awards.

“David Winans.” Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 77. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

Ronald Winans – Gospel Singer


As a member of the award-winning contemporary gospel family quartet the Winans, Ronald Winans was a pioneer in the incorporation of modern pop sounds into the language of gospel music. As the leader of his own group, Ronald Winans Family & Friends, he brought contemporary sounds to a choral format and helped launch the careers of younger musicians.

“Ronald Winans.” Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 54. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

Cece Winans – Gospel Singer


CeCe Winans has shimmered brightly in the Gospel and Christian Contemporary markets while also warming audiences both secular and religious. With an array of Grammy and Dove Awards—and numerous gold and platinum albums—Winans credits her musical success entirely to God’s handiwork in her life.

“CeCe Winans.” Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 43. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

Bebe Winans – Gospel Singer


From a family of greats, vocalist, songwriter, and producer BeBe Winans has played a key role in the music industry. His talents as a songwriter land him in the credits of artists such as Gladys Knight, Yolanda Adams, Brandy, Bobby Brown, Eternal, Chante Moore, Dave Koz, Nancy Wilson, and Stephanie Mills.

“BeBe Winans.” Notable Black American Men, Book II. Ed. Jessie Carney Smith. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.

Angie and Debbie Winans – Gospel Singer


The ninth and tenth children of Mom & Pop Winans, Angie and Debbie Winans grew up in the most musical family in the gospel industry, and soon followed in the footsteps of their older brothers and sister. The pair sang backup vocals with countless Winans projects and even toured with Whitney Houston.


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