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Legendary Staples singer brings her soulful voice to Sparks
by Krystal Bick
Jan 15, 2009 | 1014 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo - Blues/gospel/pop star Mavis Staples will perform at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Saturday.
Courtesy photo - Blues/gospel/pop star Mavis Staples will perform at John Ascuaga’s Nugget on Saturday.
“Blues and gospel are cousins,” Mavis Staples once said in regards to her record “Have a Little Faith.” “They’re very closely related. Both styles of music lift you up from what’s keeping you down.”

Just add some soul, pop and one phenomenal voice to the blues and gospel and you’ve got Staples, one of the most cherished, popular and versatile artists in contemporary music.

Staples, who has appeared with everyone from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Pink Floyd, will appear Saturday night in Sparks. She will grace the Celebrity Showroom stage at John Ascuaga’s Nugget, bringing her unforgettable style that has lasted through the years and placed her in our hearts.

In 1950, she started out with her family group, The Staples Singers, which would later be known for hits like “City in the Sky” (1974) and “Respect Yourself” (1971). Originally, though, the popularity of the family group’s deep gospel roots came to the spotlight as the voices of the civil rights movement, covering “message” songs like Stephen Stills’ “For What It’s Worth” and Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.” Such exposure to a young, restless crowd launched their careers, putting them smack in the middle of a burgeoning social and musical movement.

During their heyday, The Staples Singers scored numerous top-charting hits, including two No. 1 singles, “I’ll Take You There” (1972) and “Let’s Do It Again” (1975) and a No. 2 single “Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas?”

Staples kicked off her solo career in 1969 with zest, releasing her self-titled album, followed up by her 1970 album “Only For the Lonely.” Subsequent albums include the soundtrack album “A Piece of Action” (1970), a couple of albums under the direction of mega-pop star Prince, and one, “The Voice” (1993), that was ranked in the top ten of People magazine’s top albums of the year.

The honors heaped upon her do not stop at individual efforts. She has been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll, and Vibe magazine dubbed hers as “one of pop’s most distinctive voices.”

Even rappers Ice Cube and Ludacris have sampled her voice, which has personally accompanied Ray Charles, Natalie Merchant and Los Lobos.

The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $32 and can be purchased online at or by calling 356-3300.
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