July 17, 2018 / 10:53 PM

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



Yvonne Staples of Staples Singers has passed away after a tough battle with colon cancer, a family friend confirmed on Tuesday, April 10.

She died in her home in Chicago surrounded by family and friends. She was 80 years old.

Life And Career

Yvonne launched to fame as a member of the Staples Singers, a group that blends gospel music with soul and pop. Her father, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, formed the group with his children Pervis, Mavis, and Cleotha back in 1948.

Yvonne joined Staples Singers in 1971, when Pervis left for the military. Around that time, the group has released several popular singles including "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do It," both of which peaked at the top of Billboard's songs charts in the United States.

Chicago Tribune reports that, aside from singing, Yvonne had other hobbies and interests. She worked briefly as a secretary and volunteered at a hospital for the mentally ill.

However, she had to leave all that behind and rejoin the Staples Singers back in the late '60s, when the group was hoping to break into the mainstream with Stax Records.

"Pressure? I didn't feel any pressure," she said in an interview. "When Daddy asked us to do something, we did it. No questions asked."

When Pop's died in 2000, the group dissolved, but she continued to support her siblings. Yvonne continued to provide background vocals for her younger sister Mavis when she explored a solo career. She also served as Mavis's tour manager until her final years.

At the time of her death, Bill Carpenter, a family friend, assured fans that Yvonne was pretty much retired.


Yvonne and the Staples Singers played a huge part in the civil rights movement during the '60s. They created songs that became a guiding force for the new dawn of the African-American communities in the United States. The siblings often performed at the rallies led by Martin Luther King Jr.

The Staples Sisters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. The group also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

"The Staples' evolved from gospel music to soulful pop, delivering hits in both genres," Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described the group on its website. "The family group's music was a vehicle for social activism, positive change and love."

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