Staples Singers Member, Manager Yvonne Staples Passes Away At Age 80

Yvonne Staples started singing in church in the 1940s. | Sun Times files

Yvonne Staples, a longtime member of the world-renowned family gospel-soul-pop outfit The Staple Singers, passed away on Tuesday at her Chicago home after a fight with colon cancer.

But she was a key voice both on and off the stage during the Staples' most commercially successful era - including hits such as "I'll Take You There" and "Respect Yourself" - and played a crucial role in the late-blooming solo career of her younger sister, Mavis Staples.

Her father formed the Staple Singers with his children Pervis, Mavis and Cleotha in 1948. They performed in churches around Chicago, toured the South and became active in the civil rights movement, traveling with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Roebuck "Pops" Staples brought his family from MS to Chicago so that he could work in the steel and meat industries.

Songs Yvonne staples people sang at the funeral and they sounded like a lullaby for babies.

The group moreover obtained a lifetime achievement award from the Grammy's in 2005.

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The Staples Singers had a string of Excessive 40 hits with Stax throughout the late 1960s, incomes them the nickname God's greatest hitmakers.

"She didn't want to talk about her own singing", he said.

Yvonne's older sister, Cleotha, died in 2013 of Alzheimer's disease.

Vocalist Yvonne Staples of The Staples Singers has died at the age of 80. One time we were rehearsing and I said, 'Yvonne, tell me about that drummer in your band.' And she'd say, 'He's new to us. She stopped performing until her sister intervened, with typical directness.

Yvonne Staples is survived by her brother and sister, Pervis and Mavis, the last living members of the group. "Mavis is the voice.' She never cared about attention for herself". And that's when she started with the other words: 'Damn it, Mavis, ' and worse.

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