On this edition of THE INTERVUE, Memorial Day is around the corner for us and the people of Washington, you know what that means. A time-honored tradition returns to television, the 31st Annual National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday night at 8pm EST on PBS. While the concert won’t be televised live this year, due to COVID-19, the show does prevail with some amazing talent including our next guest. She is the best selling and most awarded female gospel artist of all time. The legendary CeCe Winans.
How does it feel to be part of this year’s festivities?
You know, I have been blessed to be part of this several times over the years but of course this year in the middle of COVID-19, it has an even more special meaning as we all fight together to survive and thrive through this COVID-19. So, I am honored to be part of this. We have an incredible line-up. So many great people. The program is going to be awesome and its honoring people. I am just glad to be a part.
Well, I am so glad that you are a part of it this year. How many years has it been since you been a part of this?
You know that’s a good question. I know over the years it has been at least four times. So this might be five for me and every time it has been incredible because PBS is just amazing, first of all, and the tributes this year will be filmed all around the country honoring all the American heroes. Every time I go it’s just like I’m living a dream.
Aren’t we all. I feel like I am living a dream talking with you since my mom played your records all the time growing up.
Go Mom, Go Mom!
What will you be doing this year for the event?
This year, I get a chance to sing an incredible song by Bill Withers, who we will honor and pay tribute to for he just passed recently, “Lean On Me”.
I think the song is so appropriate for honoring the troops and honoring & remembering those who have gone before us and also or what we are dealing with right now. We need one another and I think this song speaks to the hearts of Americans. I feel it’s going to be really, really powerful.
You’re right, it definitely does. God rest Bill Withers. He was such an incredible with such powerful songs as “Lean on Me” and “Grandma’s Hands”. Great songs, he will be missed and I can’t wait to hear your rendition.
Do you and your family have any annual Memorial Day traditions?
You know, the only tradition that we have is that we’re going to eat. Every year, it can look different. It might be in different places but we are going to eat. It’s family time. I said this before, this is a time, we honor those who fight for us, who allow us to have faith, home & family. It’s great to do that but also remembering those who are still here. Prayer is a constant part of my life. Our traditions are like, yes we are going to get together and eat but we are also going to pray for those who are still here fighting but also those family members who really fight along with them and the family members who have lost loved ones that will now affect their lives for the rest of their lives. I feel that it’s important to remember those who are left behind as well.
You have had such a stellar career. If you had to pick three songs that defined your career, which three?
That’s a good question. That’s a hard one. Going back to BeBe & Cece, “For Always”, for that’s my prayer and it’s still my prayers, that hasn’t changed that God will be there with me every step of the way. Then, “Lost Without You”, because again without God in my life and my faith then I am totally lost. He is the rock of my life. And then for me in my solo career is “Alabaster Box”. It’s a woman in the Bible who worship Jesus and who gave all of her heart and all of her soul to serving. It describes who we are all called to be, all worshippers. I don’t think that anybody doesn’t know that but we are all worshippers. Those are the three songs that define who I am in my career. Good question, I have never been asked that
If you can give a positive message to our audience out there, what would be that message?
I would just tell them to have hope. We been teaching a series in our Nashville Life Church called “High Hope”. I just want them to know that there’s life after this pandemic. We are going to make it. So, keep your hopes up high because God loves you and he’s with you. You are not forgotten. You are not alone and together we are going to make it through it. I feel that this particular Memorial Day concert that we are a part of on May 24th. I feel that it’s one of the things that will give you hope. It’s important that we watch things and that we are a part of things that are hopeful. And this particular concert is very hopeful. Keep your hopes up high because God is with you!
See CeCe on PBS this Sunday night at 8pm EST for the 31st Annual National Memorial Day Concert! Don’t Miss It!