The Staples Singers’ legacy all started back in the late 1940s as the family band debuted home brewed gospel songs in Chicago’s black churches. As the legendary group’s hard work and relentless tour schedule help move their soulful music into the hearts of fans, Mavis Staple’s uncanny vocal range turned her into the most captivating voice in the fam.
To this day, the now 76-year-old still performs regularly with her new band — they most recently released the Living On A High Note album — and proves she can still hang with the kids on any stage.
One day one of Coachella 2016, Mavis made her debut at the giant festival, all while winning over new fans from all ages and backgrounds. “Yall still fighting me?,” she asked the audience which started light but quickly filled out the Gobi stage. “Just keep on marching on the Freedom Highway. We got a lot more work to do,” she followed up before going into a medley of classics and recent releases.
“The march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama,” she told the crowd proudly. “I was there and I’m still here. I’m a soldier out here on this battlefield,” said Mavis. “I’m still out here fighting. I’m fighting for love, hope and peace.”
She embodies all the best elements of gospel, soul, R&B and social commentary into her songs and hasn’t sounded better in 2016. Mavis is someone who has been performing and recording music for longer than a lot of Coachella acts even existed. With screams from fans who were all visibly moved by her set, Ms. Staple made her mark on the desert festival as she lit the place up with a gleaming smile.
Ms. Staple hasn’t lost a step.
Be sure to check out the new Mavis Staple film.