CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Musicians and fans across the world are remembering a woman whose baritone voice could be heard singing background vocals on dozens of gospel and R&B hits, including “I’ll Take You There.”
Yvonne Staples, a member of the Staple Singers, died at her home in Chicago on Tuesday at the age of 80. The iconic rhythm and blues group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
The Staple Singers had a string of Top 40 hits and scored their first No. 1 with “I’ll Take You There” in the early 1970s.
She also performed with her sisters Mavis and 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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