Published: Wed, April 11, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Yvonne Staples, key member of Staple Singers, dies at 80

Yvonne Staples, key member of Staple Singers, dies at 80

Yvonne Staples, whose voice and business acumen powered the success of the Staple Singers, her family's hit-making gospel group that topped the charts in the early 1970s with the song "I'll Take You There, " has died.

But as her siblings took sabbaticals from the group in the '60s - Pervis to serve in the U.S. Army, Cleotha to get married - Yvonne stepped up each time and melded her voice with the group, drawing on her childhood singing lessons with her father.

The family also became active in the civil rights movement after hearing the Reverend Martin Luther King junior deliver a sermon while they were on tour in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1962.

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Singer Yvonne Staples poses for a portrait at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on March 4, 2011. They had many hit songs including "Respect Yourself" and the number one song, "I'll Take You There". She began singing at a young age in church with her sister Mavis and brother Pervis.

Ms. Staples was born in Chicago on October 23, 1937, to Oceola and Roebuck Staples, who was known as Pops.

The Staple Singers were formed in 1948 by the patriarch of the family, Roebuck "Pops" Staples. "If this is what the contract said, this is what you better do".

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Yvonne Staples performs during the 2014 Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams State Park on July 27, 2014 in Newport, Rhode Island. "But when it came to business she was very strict". The Staple Singers was born. She stopped performing until her sister intervened, with typical directness.

After Pops Staples died in 2000, the group dissolved, and Mavis Staples - the group's lead vocalist - went into a deep funk.

Yvonne Staples was Mavis Staples' road manager until recent years, Mr Carpenter said. "She was a reluctant singer, but she knew Mavis needed her, so she sang with her every night onstage". "But she was the eagle eye that saw every move somebody would make before they made it. ..."

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