×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Yvonne Staples, Singer and Manager of the Staple Singers, Dies at 80

Yvonne Staples, background singer and manager of the R&B family group the Staple Singers, died Tuesday in her Chicago home. She was 80.

Bill Carpenter, a family friend, confirmed Staples’s death to The New York Times, citing the cause as colon cancer.

The Staple Singers were formed in 1948 by the patriarch of the family, Roebuck “Pops” Staples. He was originally joined by his children Cleotha, Pervis and Mavis. After Pervis left to serve in the military in 1971, Yvonne stepped in to fill his place.

The family began singing in churches at the start of their career. The Staples were signed to multiple record labels including Epic and Stax Records. The group landed their first hit under Stax with “Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom)” in 1971. In the following year, the group’s most recognized song “I’ll Take You There” topped the Billboard R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts. Another hit titled “Respect Yourself” peaked at the second and 12th spot on the Billboard R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts respectively. “Let’s Do It Again,” released in 1975, also became a pop hit in the U.S.

“On all the big hit records, Yvonne did the background vocals” and also served as the group’s business manager, Carpenter told The New York Times.

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, with all the group members present at the ceremony to accept the honor. The Staple Singers were also presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, following “Pops” Staples death in 2000. Cleotha Staples died in 2013.

Yvonne Staples is survived by her brother and sister, Pervis and Mavis, the last living members of the group.

(Pictured: The Staples Singers, from left, Pervis, Cleotha, Pops, Mavis, and Yvonne at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York.) 

More Music

  • Brooks & Dunn, Ray Stevens Named

    Brooks & Dunn, Ray Stevens Named to Country Music Hall of Fame

    The once broken-up, now reunited country duo Brooks & Dunn were named to the Country Music Hall of Fame’s class of 2019 Monday morning, a few weeks before the release of their first album in 12 years. Also announced were comic singer-songwriter Ray Stevens, in the veteran performer category, and former producer and label chief [...]

  • Sony Music Names Amanda Collins Head

    Sony Music Names Amanda Collins Global Head of Corporate Communications

    Amanda Collins has been named executive vice president and global head of corporate communications for Sony Music Entertainment, effective immediately, it was announced today by CEO Rob Stringer. According to the announcement, in this role she will be responsible for the company’s global internal and external communications strategy and its implementation around the world, working [...]

  • Trocadero

    Philadelphia’s Iconic Trocadero Theatre to Close, Owner Confirms (EXCLUSIVE)

    After several days of rumors and a last-minute attempt by local promoters to save it, Philadelphia’s Trocadero Theatre — part of the city’s entertainment skyline since 1870 — is closing at the end of May, owner Joanna Pang confirms to Variety. The last of the city’s mid-sized independent live venues, the 1,200-capacity Chinatown performance palace [...]

  • SXSW 2019: The Best Music We

    SXSW: The Best Music We Saw at the 2019 Festival

    A downsized 2019 edition of South By Southwest meant no endless lines to see arena-sized headliners play small clubs. With the exception of a J Balvin drop-in, the biggest acts at the Austin fest were arguably longtime indie staple Broken Social Scene and Outkast’s Big Boi. But that allowed for the sort of chase that [...]

  • Dick Dale Dick Dale, known as

    Dick Dale, Surf Guitar King, Dies at 81

    Dick Dale, the “King of the Surf Guitar” who formulated the sound and attack of the Southern California-bred instrumental style in the early ‘60s, has died. He was 81. His bassist, Sam Bolle, confirmed the news to the Guardian. Dale’s self-released records with his band the Deltones led the way for countless other acts — [...]

  • Yvette Noel Schure and Maria Iturriaga

    Berklee Honors Beyoncé PR Strategist Yvette Noel-Schure

    Berklee College of Music’s Valencia, Spain outpost honored Yvette Noel-Schure, the veteran public relations strategist, with the inaugural Master of Global Entertainment Award on March 14. Currently serving as vice president of Schure Media Group, after an illustrious career at Columbia Records, she has long represented Beyonce and also worked with John Legend, Prince, Mariah [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content