Mavis Staples


Mavis Staples

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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