DG:Can you tell us how the Rising Star Tour came to be?
Vickie Winans: The President/CEO of Chrysler Financial and I were at a black tie event for the National Progressive Baptist Convention in Houston last year. We had such a great time and we met and he just loved my ministry and he wanted to do something with me and this is what came about. I’m going to be teaching young people all across the country about financial literacy and also doing a concert tour, along with the Talent Search part.
It’s like it’s three things that are going on because Chrysler Financial is really into making sure people have a lot of knowledge and financial literacy about their finances. I want to make sure that young people don’t make the same mistakes that I made when I sat down and got denied for my first car, that I was trying to buy. So, along with that, we have the talent out of ten cities. We will get one winner, to come to Detroit for the big finale, that will be judged by our celebrity judges. They will win a 2 year lease on a Chrysler 2006 300C and they will also be the first artist on Destiny Joy Records, where they will get a $10,000 advance just for signing up with me. And, I’m going to take them and rise them up to be what the Lord is calling for. I’m excited, it’s huge.
Photo By Jeff Cross: Motown Winter Blast
DG:Now tell me for the artists that are interested in entering the Talent Search, what’s the process and the deadline to enter?
Vickie Winans: They can go to www.vickiewinansrisingstar.com, and for whatever city you’re in, you can go under that city and participate. We are coming to different cities: Orlando, Baltimore, Washington D.C….
DG:I saw Chicago . . .
Vickie: We are going all over the country. It really doesn’t matter what city you live in. For instance, if you live in Indiana, you can say you’re coming from Chicago, and download all of your information. But, you’ve got to do it now, because each city has a deadline to get your “Acapella Package” in. All you have to do is send in an acapella video, and it tells you everything you need to know right there on the website.
DG:With the Rising Star Tour we see that the tickets are free, and what is really unprecedented is that it is sponsored by Chrysler Financial, one of the biggest automakers, out there. How difficult was it to obtain sponsorship from a major, Fortune 500 company?
Vickie: Somebody said, “favor ain ‘t fair.”
DG: All right.
Photo by Karen Hunt-Barker – 2005 Stellar Awards
Vickie: I don’t know what else to say, but I must be doing something right. After you give your tithes and offering, the window is open and anyone is liable to fall out. I believe with all my heart, honest to God, I give back, I love to give back. I take care of my mom and take care of my dad. My mom has diabetes, is on dialysis three times a week, and she wants for nothing. And I’m blessed to help the Detroit Mission and the poor, and I’m blessed to help bring people forward trying to do different things to help people. Because the bible says, ‘when you give it shall be given unto you with God measure.’ This is a part of my good measure. Then you’re running over and running right into Chrysler. That’s what I’m saying. God is just good and you have to give. I work so hard to give of myself. I’m trying so hard to be the gospel artist that God is calling me to be. You have no idea how hard I work; so hard to make people proud of me, for God to be glorified, so that we all can see him face-to-face.
DG:Yes, I hear you. Praise God, that’s it.
DG: With the recent passing of Elder Ron Winans, do you have a favorite memory of Elder Winans that you’d like to Share?
Vickie: Yes I do, and I had the family rolling, because I told them that I know that Ron was saved and had asked the Lord to forgive him for everything, and that I sure hope he had asked Him to forgive us for that time me and him stole first class to Hawaii.
(Laughter) I told Ronald, ‘this is what we gonna do, we gonna mill around and mill around until everybody gets on the plane, and then when we go in, if there are any open seats (laughter), we’ll just sit down.’ That’s exactly what we did. He was scared to death. We rode eleven hours in first class. They fed us; we had lobster, and all the things. I don’t know what they had in the back, but baby, I had to ask the Lord to forgive me, cause we sho’ stole first class…. But we were in coach on the way back! (laughing) It’s a wonder we didn’t go to jail behind that. Lord help!
Photo By: Jeff Cross – Marvin Winans, Jr. (“Coconut”) & Vickie Winans announce the winner of “Soul Star 2005”
DG:Vickie, who are some of your favorite musical influences that you had in your career?
Vickie: I got one favorite, I got a lot of people that I love; Yolanda, but I got one favorite, that’s my mama. Baby, she a bad girl. Mother would take a mike and rip off at 81 years old. I love my mama.
DG:They call you, ‘the hardest working woman in gospel.’ Is there anything you’d like to share with up and coming artists entering the Talent Contest. Let’s face it, it is competitive and hard to break into gospel today.
Vickie: It’s hard, but let me tell you something, if you get the door open up to you, have the ability to keep the door open. First of all, be skillful, learn your craft do a good job. You’ve got to be anointed, you’ve got to be committed, and then when it’s all said and done, you have to keep great relationships. Don’t develop no ego, mistreat people. Like you can go up, you can come down. That’s what has kept me out there these 20 years. This is my 20th Anniversary. Keeping a positive attitude, developing friendships, loving the Lord, making sure that you’re classy at all times, doing the right things, keeping relationships open, you’ll always be on top.
DG:Praise God. Last question, “Bringing it All Together,” is still on the Billboard Gospel Chart. Any plans for a new CD? Your last one is still selling just like it came out yesterday.
Vickie: It feels like it just came out. We just did a remix on “Shake Yourself Loose.” When they visit the www.vickiewinansrisingstar.com website they’ll be able to see the video in a couple of days. I just got a new video with my nephew scatting on it. I mean, I just find ways to continue to do things. My new CD will be entitled, “Vickie Winans: Woman-to-Woman Songs of Life.” It’s a double CD and I’m going to sing it to women and I’ll be able to share all of my testimonies and my triumphs; my ups and downs. It’s going to be a beautiful CD.
DG:Sometime in 2005 or 2006?
DG:Well Vickie, I appreciate your time. You’re an inspiration. One thing I love about you is that you’re not afraid to share the challenges that you go through. We testify about the good, but we all have challenges to get where we are.
Vickie: I don’t need anyone to tell me about the good, good is just good, but if I can tell somebody what has happened to me, hopefully it’ll bless them to pull through some of the struggles in their life.
DG:Thank you so much Vickie. Bless you.
Vickie: Thank you so much sweetie. God bless you too, honey.