EXCLUSIVE! BeBe Winans Talks New “Black Lives Matter” Single

EXCLUSIVE! BeBe Winans Talks New “Black Lives Matter” Single

“Some people don’t care about life. I just pray for them. I really do.”

By Michael P Coleman

With “Black Lives Matter,” the legendary BeBe Winans has just released one of the most poignant singles of his career. It is certainly the most timely.

The prolific singer / songwriter has penned dozens of masterpieces during a career that has just entered its fifth decade. But Winans’ powerful new song is special, and its proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter and Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative.

In sum, with “Black Lives Matter,” Winans is literally putting his money where his mouth is.

“I started writing ‘Black Lives Matter’ in April of 2015, the day that they killed Freddie Gray,” Winans, EXCLUSIVELY told me by phone. “I saw my own son in Freddie, and I just stood in my home and I began to weep. My son was 15, already tall with facial hair, and it hit me that my son could have been mistaken for a 20-something year old. If he had gotten into an argument or confrontation with the police, he really wouldn’t have known how to act or have been able to control his emotions.”

“That hit me like a brick, and I went to the piano and I just starting singing. That’s when I wrote most of it. After the death of George Floyd earlier this year, I could just hear him saying ‘Pick that song up again,’ and that’s what I did.”

For some, it may seem odd to hear of the 57-year-old legend’s “conversation” with someone who had passed away. But for his core, gospel fans, it won’t seem odd at all. In fact, for Winans, it’s par for the course.

But as connected as Winans is to spirit, he has always been equally connected in the natural world.

“I sent the song to a friend of mine, Mayor [of Atlanta] Keisha Lance Bottoms, and she wrote back and said ‘It’s a beautiful song…[and] it brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad that you put it away for awhile before releasing it. We need it now more than ever.’ “

“Black Lives Matter” is a haunting ballad into which Winans really sinks his vocal teeth. He’s not known for singing a bad note, but on this song, the icon delivers a vocal unlike any he’s delivered in decades.

When I sheepishly told Winans that — one doesn’t want to offend a gospel and R & B legend, after all, by suggesting that he’d soft-pedaled some vocals over the years — he graciously concurred…and said I wasn’t the first to notice.

He also said that recording “Black Lives Matter” took him back to his Motown roots.

Read freelance writer MPC’s full feature on Winans’ new single, and hear more from the legend, including an update on how he's doing after having tested positive for coronavirus. Also, get his calls to action as we battle COVID-19 and police brutality.

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