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Mario Winans

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Early career:

Mario Winans was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina but grew up in Detroit. He is a member of gospel music’s most notable family, the Winans, being the son of Marvin Winans and Vickie Winans. He is also the nephew of gospel singers BeBe Winans and CeCe Winans.

Winans started out learning music in school learning piano, keyboards, and drums. His mother Vicki Winans bought him a roomful of recording equipment, and he learnt the function of every piece of equipment. He started producing gospel groups straight out of high school and soon accumulated credits for Fred Hammond, The Anointed, and the Clark Sisters as well as various Winans family member albums.

In the mid-1990’s, he signed a production deal with Dallas Austin’s Rowdy Records. His breakthrough came with credits on the tracks “I Can’t Sleep Baby” and “You Remind Me Of Something” on R. Kelly’s R. Kelly album in 1995. Work with Pebbles and 98 Degrees soon followed.

Winans released his debut album Story of my Heart on Motown in 1997. While the song “Don’t Know” reached the U.S. R&B top 50, the album failed to chart.

Soon after, Winans teamed up with P. Diddy and his Bad Boy roster. His first work with Bad Boy was playing drums on “Come With Me” in 1998 by Diddy and Jimmy Page, based on the classic Led Zeppelin song “Kashmir” from their 1975 album Physical Graffiti.

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