Mavis Staples to Celebrate 85th Birthday With All-Star Concert

Music legend Mavis Staples will celebrate her 85th birthday in style, with a star-studded celebration to be held Thursday, April 18, at YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California, and produced by Blackbird Presents. The lineup features a who’s who of artists who have been inspired and influenced by the soul/gospel/R&B pioneer and civil rights activist, including Black Pumas, Chris Stapleton, Grace Potter, The War and Treaty and Keb’ Mo’. Staples herself will also take the stage during the event.


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The lineup also includes Hozier, Jackson Browne, Jeff Tweedy, Michael McDonald, Nathaniel Rateliff, Norah Jones, Robert Randolph and Taj Mahal, with more artists to be announced.

Staples, who will turn 85 on July 10, is a member of both the Blues and Rock and Roll Hall of Fames and is a three-time Grammy Award winner, as well as a recipient of the Grammy lifetime achievement award (as part of The Staple Singers). She is also a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient and a Kennedy Center honoree.

At age 11, Staples joined The Staple Singers, a group led by her father Roebuck “Pops” Staples. The group began in gospel before releasing soul and R&B music in the 1960s. In 1969, she released her debut eponymous solo album and earned a string of top 40 hits with the family group in the 1970s, including “I’ll Take You There” and “Let’s Do It Again.” Staples continued to release solo albums in the 1990s and 2000s; in 2010, her album You Are Not Alone, a collection of gospel standards, reached the pinnacle of the top gospel albums chart, and earned Staples her first Grammy Award win, for best Americana album.

During her decadeslong career as both part of The Staple Singers and as a solo performer, Staples has also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and performed at the White House for President Barack Obama.

“I am so grateful to all the my friends, fans and these incredible artists that are coming to my 85th birthday concert celebration,” Staples said in a statement. “I can’t wait to be a part of this once in a lifetime show!”

Blackbird Presents CEO/Chief Creative Officer Keith Wortman said in a statement, “Producing this show is the honor of my life, as we all come together to celebrate a woman whom has given so much to so many over the years through her actions, her music, and her magic.”

Tickets for the concert will go on sale to the public on Friday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. PT at Ticketmaster.

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