Was a Grammy-winning member of the Winans Group.

Ron Winans, of gospel music's famed Winans family, died Friday morning (June 17) in Detroit at Harper Hospital. The second eldest of ten siblings, Winans had been suffering from heart problems. He had been admitted to the hospital after doctors realized he was retaining fluid. Winans would have turned 49 on June 30.

"Ronald Winans is part of the history of gospel music," says Verity Records artist Donnie McClurkin. "I got my start in recording through 'Ronald Winans Family & Friends,' in 1987. He was my brother, he was my friend and we'll all miss him very much. He went to heaven like a true saint of God with the biggest smile on his face. Please remember the family in prayer. The family has decided to celebrate his life as opposed to mourn his death. Let us all follow that same example."

Winans began his career when he and brothers Marvin and Carvin and Michael, were discovered by gospel singer Andrae Crouch. They released their first album, "Introducing the Winans," in 1981 and became one of the most successful groups in gospel music. Winans endured a massive heart-attack in 1997 and doctors told the family he likely wouldn't survive, but he did and against the odds, resumed his recording career.

"Once I got back, I said 'Lord, if you are able to do that, I want everything back,'" he told Billboard earlier this year, "because they thought I was going to be a vegetable."

He survived and thrived. His most recent project was "Family & Friends 5: A Celebration," released in January on Entheos Records, a Detroit-based label founded by producer Doreonne Stramler. The project was recorded last May in Detroit at Greater Grace Temple. The event was also taped as a DVD release.

"The family wishes to thank everyone who joined us in prayer and will continue to extend their unwavering support during our time of loss," Winans' brother, BeBe Winans, said in a statement.