Ron Winans 1956 - 2005

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Wednesday 22nd June 2005

Gospel giant Ron Winans dies in Detroit on 17th June.

A MAJOR figure in American gospel music, Ron Winans, died from heart complications on 17th June 2005 - just two weeks short of his 49th birthday. A member of the multi-award-winning The Winans group, Ron was the second eldest of the 10 siblings in the Detroit-based Winans family, affectionately known as "the first family of gospel music."

Ron had suffered a massive heart attack in 1997, but made a miraculous recovery after the doctors had given him up for dead. In recent weeks, he had been admitted to the hospital for observation after the doctors realised he was retaining an abnormal amount of fluid in his body. The entire family spent Ron's last moments with him at Harper Hospital in the family's hometown. Speaking on behalf of the family, younger brother Benjamin (BeBe) Winans said: "The family wishes to thank everyone who joined us in prayer and will continue to extend their unwavering support during our time of loss."

Ron first began singing in 1975 when, with brothers Marvin, Carvin and Michael, he formed The Testimonial Singers. The group recorded two albums on their own Jonah label. In the late '70s the group were discovered by Andrae Crouch and began touring with Walter Hawkins. Changing their name to The Winans, the brothers signed with Light Records. Successful albums 'Introducing The Winans' (1981), 'Long Time Comin'' (1983), 'Tomorrow' (1984) and 'Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow' (1985) followed. In 1985 the group signed to Quincy Jones' record label Qwest with the group adopting a more crossover approach. More albums 'Decisions' (1987), 'Live At Carnegie Hall' (1998), 'Return' (1990), 'All Out' (1993) ensued. In 1989 Ron began recording a series of albums 'Ron Winans Family & Friends'. The latest in the series 'Ron Winans Family & Friends V: A Celebration' was released in January this year.

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