Yvonne Staples of The Staple Singers Passes Away at 80


Led by her father, the Staple Singers, including Pervis, Mavis and Cleotha Staples, formed in 1948. In these early days of the group, Yvonne Staples helped with the band's business matters, but graduated to a singing role after Pervis was drafted into the United States army and Cleotha took time out to get married.

She performed with her sisters Mavis and Cleotha and their father, Pops, on hits such as "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There, " their first No. 1 hit.

Family friend Bill Carpenter confirmed the news to The New York Times, adding that Staples had suffered from colon cancer.

Yvonne continued to fulfill the same role for her sister Mavis' successful solo career, occasionally providing background vocals prior to her recent retirement from singing.

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The group's output slowed from a flood to a trickle in the 1980s, by which point Mavis was becoming a star in her own right. Carpenter said she was "pretty much retired" at the time of her death.

Yvonne launched to fame as a member of the Staples Singers, a group that blends gospel music with soul and pop.

They appeared in the documentaries Wattstax (1972) and The Last Waltz (1978), and are best known for the hits "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do It Again", which both topped the Billboard Hot 100.

The family moreover grew to turn into energetic throughout the civil rights movement after listening to the Reverend Martin Luther King junior ship a sermon whereas that they had been on tour in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1962.

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The group also received a lifetime achievement award from the Grammy's in 2005.

Yvonne's sister, Cleotha, the oldest of the Staples siblings, died in 2013 after a 12-year battle with Alzheimer's.

Knowing her sister was in pain and needed her, Yvonne sat Mavis down and talked some sense into her using a few stronger words than she generally did. "Yvonne said, 'Mavis, your daddy would want you to keep singing. It woke me up".

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