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Mavis Staples

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  • Mavis Staples

  • Mavis Staples


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Born in 1939 in Chicago, Mavis Staples achieved wide recognition as lead singer for the Staple Singers. She first recorded solo for Stax subsidiary Volt in 1969. Subsequent efforts included a Curtis Mayfield-produced soundtrack on Curtom, a disappointing nod to disco for Warner in 1979, a misguided stab at electro-pop with Holland-Dozier-Holland in 1984, and an uneven album for Paisley Park. Staples has a rich contralto voice that has neither the range of Aretha Franklin nor the power of Patti LaBelle. Her otherworldly power comes instead from a masterful command of phrasing and a deep-seated sensuality expressed through timbre manipulation. Both the Staple Singers and Mavis found fresh audiences stemming from their participation on the CD Rhythm Country and Blues, and in 1996 she issued Spirituals & Gospel: Dedicated to Mahalia Jackson. Her next recording project didn't land for another eight years, although Have a Little Faith on Alligator became her highest-profile release in years. We'll Never Turn Back appeared three years later in 2007. Staples teamed up with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy as producer for 2010's You Are Not Alone, which won the 2011 Grammy Award in the category of Best Americana Album. One True Vine, released in 2013, was also produced by Tweedy and featured a mix of old and new songs written by the likes of George Clinton, Alan Sparhawk (Low), and Nick Lowe.

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
05.26.17 Napa Valley Expo Napa, CA US
05.27.17 Napa Valley Expo Napa, CA US
06.08.17 Wichita Riverfest Wichita, KS US
06.21.17 Burton Cummings Theatre Winnipeg, MB Canada
06.28.17 Eastman Theatre Rochester, NY US
07.14.17 Kaufleuten Zurich, ZH Switzerland

eMusic Features


Interview: Mavis Staples

By Barry Walters, Contributor

Let's not mince words: Former Staple Singers vocalist and soul/gospel queen Mavis Staples has one of the greatest voices of any living singer regardless of gender or genre, and the extraordinary expressiveness of that voice tumbles out of her even when she talks. When she picks up the phone and says, "Hell-oh," you know this is the same voice that ignited chart-topping '70s classics like "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There." Even at 71… more »