Mavis Staples life and biography

Mavis Staples picture, image, poster

Mavis Staples biography

Date of birth : 1939-07-10
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Chicago, Illinois,U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-01-13
Credited as : Singer, actress, recorded with The Staple Singers

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Mavis Staples is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress and civil rights activist who recorded with The Staple Singers, her family's band.

By the time the Staple Singers' string of R&B hits kicked off in the early Seventies, Mavis Staples' liquid contralto had already been tearing the roof off with her family's gospel group for two decades and had become the signature voice of the civil rights movement. She'd had some trepidation about playing to secular audiences, but as her father, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, told her, "The people in the clubs won't come to church. So we take the church to them." It worked: She's got the most undiluted gospel technique of any pop star ever. (Check out the Staples' transcendent take on "The Weight" in The Last Waltz.) In 2001, Bob Dylan described the first time he heard her sing: "That just made my hair stand up, listening to that. I mean, that just seemed like, 'That's the way the world is.'"

Her voice has been sampled by some of the biggest selling hip-hop artists, including Salt 'N' Pepa, Ice Cube and Ludacris. Mavis Staples has recorded with a wide variety of musicians, from her friend Bob Dylan (with whom she was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award in the "Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals" category for their duet on "Gotta Change My Way of Thinking" from the album Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan) to The Band, Ray Charles, Nona Hendryx, George Jones, Natalie Merchant, Ann Peebles, and Delbert McClinton. She has provided vocals on current albums by Los Lobos and Dr. John, and she appears on tribute albums to such artists as Johnny Paycheck, Stephen Foster and Bob Dylan.

On February 13, 2011, Mavis Staples won her first Grammy award in the category for Best Americana Album for You Are Not Alone. In her acceptance speech, a shocked and crying Staples said "This has been a long time coming."

During her career Staples has appeared in many films and television shows, including The Last Waltz, Graffiti Bridge, Wattstax, New York Undercover, Soul Train, Soul to Soul, The Psychiatrist, and The Cosby Show.

-Mavis Staples (Volt, 1969)
-Only for the Lonely (Stax, 1970)
-A Piece of the Action (Curtom, 1977)
-Oh What a Feeling (Warner, 1979)
-Mavis Staples (HDH, 1984)
-Don't Change Me Now (Volt/Ace, 1988)
-Time Waits for No One (Paisley Park, 1989)
-The Voice (Paisley Park, 1993)
-Spirituals & Gospel: Dedicated to Mahalia Jackson with Lucky Peterson (Verve, 1996)
-Have a Little Faith (Alligator, 2004)
-We'll Never Turn Back (Anti-, 2007) produced by Ry Cooder
-Live: Hope at the Hideout (Anti-, 2008)
-You Are Not Alone (Anti-, 2010) produced by Jeff Tweedy

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