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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With BeBe Winans

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services on

Best known for his music, R&B/gospel vocalist BeBe Winans has won six Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards and three NAACP Awards. He's also worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the late Whitney Houston. It was his 28-year friendship with Houston that inspired him to write the book, "The Whitney I Knew" (Worthy Publishing, $19.99). He has just released his latest CD, "America America," and fans may follow the 50-year-old musician on Twitter (at)bebewinans.

Q. For you and your family, what is the importance of traveling?

A. I love culture and meeting people. I think showing children how others live and seeing how large the world is is the greatest gift you can give them. You learn various lessons from travel, and I've been fortunate to be able to share that with my children.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. I was born and raised in Detroit, so my mother would take us to Chicago quite a bit. We went to Chicago so much that I thought it was just our backyard. The trip I'll never forget was when she took us to California by car. We saw so much of the United States on that trip. I made up my mind that I was going to go back to California, but not by car. But it was a wonderful adventure. I've been able to go back to a lot of the places we saw on that trip, and that brought back fun memories.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?


A. I love Rio de Janeiro, but if I had to choose just one place, I'd pick Hawaii -- any island. It's just a place that I fell in love with years ago. I have enjoyed going there for the past 20-something-plus years. I go about three to four times a year. I have such close friends there who've become my family. Hawaii is still paradise to me. More so than just the beautiful scenery, the people really do make the difference in destinations for me. I find that Hawaiians are just lovely people.

Q. If you were to pick something negative about Hawaii, what would it be?

A. I love you all, but I'm not a fan of your food! (Laughs) I should point out that I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food. But everyone in Hawaii seems to like Spam. I had enough Spam when I was growing up. I will not eat it anymore. I am allergic to Spam! Hawaiians love mayonnaise with everything, too.

Q. Where did you eat the best meals?


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