Mavis Staples (born July 10, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American R&B and gospel singer and civil rights activist who recorded with The Staple Singers, her family's band. Staples began her career with her family group in 1950. Led by family patriarch Roebuck "Pops" Staples on guitar and including the voices of Mavis and her siblings Cleo, Yvonne, and Pervis, the Staples were called "God's Greatest Hitmakers."
Staples made her first solo foray while at Epic Records with The Staple Singers releasing a lone single "Crying in the Chapel" in the late 1960s. The single was finally re-released on the 1994 Sony Music collection "Lost Soul."
Her first solo album would not come until a 1969 self-titled release for the Stax label. After another Stax release, "Only for the Lonely," in 1970, she released a soundtrack album, "A Piece of the Action," on Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label.
A 1984 album (also self-titled) preceded two albums under the direction of Prince, 1989's "Time Waits for No One," followed by 1993's "The Voice.” Her 1996 release, "Spirituals & Gospels: A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson" was recorded with keyboardist Lucky Peterson.
Staples made a major national return with the release of the album "Have a Little Faith" on Chicago's Alligator Records, produced by Jim Tullio, in 2004.
A new album for Anti- Records entitled "We'll Never Turn Back" was released in April 2007. The Ry Cooder-produced concept album focuses on Gospel songs of the civil rights movement and also included two new original songs by Cooder.
In 2008 Staples released "Live: Hope at the Hideout" on Anti- featuring a performance at the small Chicago club recorded in the summer of that year.
Staples released "You Are Not Alone," produced by fellow Chicagoan and Wilco member Jeff Tweedy, in 2010 also on Anti-.