By Lisa Collins, senior music editor, GospelMusicChannel.com
For more than three hours, upwards of 500 people camped out in front of Vickie Winans' Detroit-based jewelry store, Accents By Vickie, for the chance to secure free tickets to one of two CD release bashes the GRAMMY-nominated artist was throwing to celebrate the release of her latest project, How I Got Over.
The record, her 14th project, is part tribute to her mother who she recalls would stand up in testimony service, throw her head back and open up her mouth and sing, slow and steady the lyrics to the classic gospel hymn, "How I Got Over," an updated version of which serves as the title track and lead single.
"Last year, Marvin Sapp talked about how he 'never would have made it.' Now, I'm just going to let you all know how I made it. I decided to start the song slow and traditional like my mother would have done it, but I changed it up at the end," Winans says. "You've got to keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on, so I put my 21-year-old nephew, Tim Bowman, Jr., on at the end of the song and let him scat. When you hear him, you'll understand what I'm saying."
Winans says it with all the seasoning of a 20-plus year veteran and award-winning singer who has spent enough time at the top of the charts to know what it takes. And to her credit, the title track seems to have struck a chord with gospel lovers across the nation. Demand for the single has made it among the most added tunes to gospel radio around the country for the last four weeks, boosting her chances of an impressive chart entry (the album officially released August 26).
She's just as excited about the second single, "Release It."
"I went on the radio and (WCHB radio personality) Mildred Gaddis played it, and by the time it was over I was crying, she was crying and the phone lines were all lit up," Winans says. "The song is just powerful, telling people to let it go. All the shame and blame, it doesn't matter."~(continued from page 1)
Also featured on Winans' latest recording effort is a duet with Tye Tribbett.
The album-released on her own label, Destiny Joy Records, is but one of the projects keeping the singer dubbed as "the hardest working woman in the gospel industry" busy these days. Recently, Black Entertainment Television signed her to host a new comedy TV series, A Time to Laugh set to debut in January. Then there's the success of Accents By Vickie.
"Business has been off the chain," Winans reports. "The store is very plush. I've got a big screen TV, comfortable sofas, chairs and refreshments. I made it like coming to the closet in my house. Plus, the jewelry is fabulous and inexpensive. I wear it in concert. In fact, I wear it everywhere."
"When I left Verity Records," she states reflectively, "I was told that I was not going to be successful."
She pauses ever so briefly, in classic Vickie Winans style, "Girl please... No man determines what God do for me."
In "DUE" Season
Vickie Winans is hardly alone in her efforts to brand herself outside of the traditional gospel arena. There's Yolanda Adams with her forthcoming clothing line; Dorinda Clark-Cole who has served as a spokesmodel for Donna Vinci Clothing; and now gospel songbird, Dottie Peoples, who is set to kick off her own beauty line next month.
The cosmetics line, called DUE (short for Dottie's Ultimate Enhances), is the result of a partnership between the singer and the Beaumont, Texas-based firm, Dime On A Dollar, Inc. The new line, in production now for a year, will launch in her home base of Atlanta with a series of events designed for makeovers, product sampling and purchases.
"It's going to be like Mary Kay Cosmetics. We're going to have reps all around the country," Peoples reports. "Every month we'll be in a major city and we'll top off the makeovers with a mini-concert.
"I'm excited about the makeup line," Peoples continues. They give me a say in everything and it's really cute. My favorite color is purple, so the makeup line is purple and gold.
"A lot of it is bling-bling, and they call me the bling-bling queen. My hope is that God will bless the line."
The Stellar-award winning artist – who is booked up through the holidays – is, however, disappointed with the sales performance of her current CD, Do It, the first release from her own record label, DP Muzik Group.
"We didn't get the radio play or the support I've been getting my whole career and I was very disappointed," Peoples says. "Not everybody, but one major radio group did not even touch it and that hurt me really bad. Because of that a lot of the audiences in major cities where I was doing concerts had not even heard the CD and for a time, I got very bitter.
"But," she adds, "I'm not giving up. ...You don't give up. I can't let one disappointment stop me. We lost a little money on the last one but hopefully on the next one, we will make it back."
About the Writer
Lisa Collins, a Los Angeles native and resident, is a syndicated columnist, writer, publisher and former Billboard Magazine columnist. Her career in gospel began in 1988 with her creation of "Inside Gospel," a daily/weekly syndicated radio series that provided news, profiles and product updates relative to the gospel music community. For the next eight years, she would also serve as executive producer of the show that was broadcast in more than 100 markets nationwide. Collins has also served as a segment producer for BET and authored well over 300 articles on a variety of issues for a number of national publications from Essence to Upscale. Her background in the field of entertainment reporting is extensive, featuring cover stories and interviews with the likes of Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson and Prince.