Mavis Staples was born in the city of Chicago on the 10th July 1939. Aged eleven, she joined The Staple Singers, the family group led by her father Pops, who started their recording careers at the locally-based black-owned legendary record label, Vee-Jay Records, during the mid-1950s, as a Gospel recording act for the label. During that period they scored a major hit entitled “Uncloudy Day,” which is now a gospel classic.
The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 under the gospel category. The group had two more songs that were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, starting with “I’ll Take You There”, in 1999, under the R&B and Soul category, which was originally released on Stax Records in 1972. This was followed by “Respect Yourself”, also originally released on Stax Records in 1971 and inducted in 2002 under the R&B and Soul category.
The Staple Singers were also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame under the Performer category in 1999, presented by Lauryn Hill.
In 2010 her record company Anti-Records released an album called “You Are Not Alone” which was produced by Jeff Tweedy and won a Grammy Award in the Best Americana Album vocal or Instrumental category at the 53rd Grammy Awards Ceremony. This was Mavis’s first Grammy Award as a solo artist.
Time Magazine described the album as “gorgeous”, Spin Magazine described the album as “inspiring”, with Rolling Stone listing Staples as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Mavis Staples became the first African American female solo gospel artist to reach the number one position on the Official UK Christian & Gospel Albums Chart week-ending 6th July 2013 (1 week), with her “One True Vine” album on Anti-Records. The album was recorded in her home town of Chicago.