CHICAGO (AP) — Yvonne Staples, (pictured, far right) whose voice and business acumen powered the success of the Staple Singers, has died at age 80.
The Chicago funeral home Leak and Sons says she died Tuesday at her home in Chicago.
Staples’ family gospel group had a string of Top 40 hits in the late 1960s, and scored their first No. 1 hit with “I’ll Take You There.”
She also performed with her younger sister Mavis and older sister Cleotha and their father Pops on other hits, including “Respect Yourself.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the family was active in civil rights and performed at the request of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Grammys in 2005.
A family friend says Yvonne Staples was “no nonsense” but “had a heart of gold.”
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