Contemporary gospel singer CeCe Winans, currently on what's amounting to a farewell tour for her duo with brother BeBe Winans, is planning to make a live album for her next solo venture.
"We're scheduling a live recording, so we're working on the songs for that," Winans tells Billboard.com. The date and venue have not yet been determined, but Winans says that she's "gathering the songs together, writing and figuring everything else out." Her last solo release was "Thy Kingdom Come" in 2008, while she's previously released a pair of concert videos, "Live at the Lambs Theater in New York" in 2000 and "Live in the Throne Room" in 2004.
Winans, meanwhile, is "totally on board" with the pending end of the BeBe and CeCe Winans duo act. The group won a pair of Grammy Awards for last year's "Still," which was their first new studio album in 15 years and topped the Billboard gospel chart and hit No. 2 on the R&B chart, and she says the success made it seem like a good time for the siblings to say goodbye.
"We both have other things that we want to do, and we're both happy doing what we do," Winans explains. "We both understand the commitment that it takes to continue to do BeBe and CeCe; it's just a lot, you know? We wanted to come back, which we did with ('Still') and saw the people still love us, which is wonderful. But we also realized this is really the end."
Don't expect a big farewell show from the duo, she adds. "We're not tring to make a big exit noise here," she says, noting that the Oct. 19 presentation of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will likely double as their final formal event together. But Winans is also sure she and her brother will sing together again in the future.
"I don't think at all this'll be the last that you'll ever hear of BeBe and CeCe -- it just won't be going in the studio or going on tour again," she says. "I'm not sad becuase I know that whatever God's will is for BeBe and CeCe, wherever we will reunite...we will fulfill what we need to do. So I'm not sad at all. We had a great ride."
Besides the live album, Winans is also looking forward to this year's Always Sisters Forever Brothers youth conference that she sponsors annual in Nashville and takes place July 21-23. "It's just a time we invite young people to come and we invite speakers to speak into their lives and try to motivate them and encourage them to do the right thing in their lives," Winans says. It's been wonderful. We've had incredible people come in to share their wisdom and their knowledge, everybody from (former NFL coach) Tony Dungy to (poet and activist) Maya Angelou. That's where my heart is. My passion is pouring into the next generation. I could do that full time, really."