Chicago native Mavis Staples is true gospel-music royalty.
The deep-voiced daughter of singer Pops Staples, she joined the family band—that
would be the Staple Singers--at age 8, and has virtually lived her life onstage.
The family gave a musical voice to the civil rights movement, and, with the
soul/R&B muscle of Stax Records house band Booker T. & the MG’s, hit
No. 1 with “I’ll Take You There” and “Let’s Do It Again.” Her “good friend” Bob
Dylan once declared to Pops that he wanted to marry her; he’s one of dozens of
luminaries she’s recorded and performed with. Many more cite her as an
inspiration (or sample her songs). Longtime fan Marty Stuart told Livewire’s
Andy Argyrakis, “Mavis is like one of the bedrock sounds in my soul. Her voice
is so powerful and as a presence she's so powerful. It's like having mother
earth in the studio.”
In 2009, she recorded "Waiting for My Child to Come
Home" with Patty Griffin and The Tri-City Singers, for the Grammy-winning Oh
Happy Day: an All-Star Music Celebration. Her own 2009 release, Live:
Hope at the Hideout, was nominated for a Best Contemporary Blues Album
Grammy. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and winner of the Americana Music
Association/First Amendment Center “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech in Music
Award, Staples is still going strong at 70.
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