Artist Name: Mario Winans
Musical Styles: Urban, Contemporary R&B
Similar Artists: Brian McKnight, Jamie Foxx, Carl Thomas, Case,
Avant, Musiq (Soulchild), T-Pain
Trivia: Son of Vicki Winans. Nephew of BeBe Winans and CeCe Winans.
Detailed: 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
Vicki 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. Over the past few years, Winans has racked a sizeable
list of production credits for Bad Boy artists including Diddy, The
Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim, Faith Evans, Loon, Black Rob, and 112. He
has also worked with notable artists outside Bad Boy including Mary
J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Ice Cube, Jennifer Lopez, and Brian McKnight.
Winans co-wrote the 2-part song "I Need a Girl" with P. Diddy and appeared
on the "Pt. 2" version with Loon, Ginuwine, and Diddy, which became
a hit recording in 2002. He also produced the Bad Boy remix compilation
We Invented The Remix in 2002.
Winans recorded his second album Hurt No More in 2001, 2002, and 2003
in between his busy schedule working with other artists. The album is
based on stories of love and betrayal. The first single "I Don't Wanna
Know" was based on a sample of the Fugees' 1996 hit single "Ready Or
Not", which itself was based on a slowed-down sample of the instrumental
track "Boadicea" by Enya from her 1987 self-titled album. Enya and her
representatives became annoyed since Winans did not seek her approval
for the sample, as he was unaware that the Fugees sample he had used
had itself been a sample. So, a compromise was reached to credit the
single as "Mario Winans featuring P. Diddy and Enya". . The song features
a rap by P. Diddy and radio programmers and club DJs started playing
the track when it started appearing on mixtapes. The song was released
as the single in early 2004 and became a worldwide hit going to #1 in
Germany and on the rhythmic top 40 radio chart in the United States;
to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, on the U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart,
and on the world internet download charts; and to #3 on a composite
world R&B chart (based on the R&B charts in the U.S., UK, Germany, France,
and Australia) and on both the Australian and Norwegian singles charts.
It also reached the top ten on a composite European singles chart. Hurt
No More was released on April 20, 2004 in the U.S. and, by early June
2004, had reached #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, #2 on
the Billboard 200, and #3 on the UK's album chart. The album's second
single, "Never Really Was", used a sample of the orchestrated beginning
of Madonna's 1986 hit, "Papa Don't Preach", as its background music.
However, the song failed to chart in America.
Albums Story of My Heart (1997) Hurt No More (2004) #2 US (Gold) Singles
"I Don't Wanna Know" "Never Really Was"