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Mavis Staples is best known for her extensive gospel career with the Staples Singers.
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That pattern finally changed with Staples' 2004 album Have a Little Faith, her first release following the death of her father in 2000. Have a Little Faith received rave reviews, paving the way for Staples to achieve a late career renaissance with the albums We'll Never Turn Back (2007) and Live: Hope at the Hideout (2008). Her most recent album, 2010's You Are Not Alone, won the Grammy Award for Best Americana Album.
Mavis Staples will doubtlessly go down in history as one of the greatest gospel singers of all time, the breathtaking voice powering one of America's great family bands, The Staple Singers. From the traditional gospel music of the 1950s to the 1960s protest songs that underscored some of the decade's most dramatic social changes, from the self-empowerment anthems of the 1970s to the soulful love tunes and mature Americana of more recent years, Staples and her family have consistently created some of the best and most inspirational music of the past half-century.
And although Staples is now more than 70 years old, she has no intention of giving up the calling that has consumed her since she was a child. "Ain't no stopping me, I will sing," Staples declared in a recent interview. "You know, you'd have to come and scoop me off the stage. I'm gonna sing till I die."
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American society experienced a revolution in the late 1960s and early 70s, especially for African-Americans and women. Janis Joplin was the finest white blues singer of her generation; female singer-songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell shared their innermost thoughts and feelings; Aretha Franklin emerged as the Queen of Soul; and Bonnie Raitt established herself as both a strong vocalist and a brilliant guitarist. Through their music, the women of this era created the soundtrack of social progress.
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