Her upcoming Alligator album (as yet untitled) is a stirring collection of uplifting, gospel-rooted songs deep-seated in Staples’ faith and spirituality. Set for an August release, the CD, produced by Jim Tullio and Staples, features the strongest collection of material – both originals and interpretations - Mavis has ever assembled.

According to Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer, Staples is a natural fit for the label. “Mavis Staples’ voice is one of the best known and best loved sounds in contemporary American music. Her soul and R&B recordings are infused with the spirit of gospel music, and her gospel recordings with The Staple Singers helped create the sound of 60’s soul music. I’m absolutely thrilled to bring this marvelously talented musical icon to Alligator.”

Born in Chicago in 1940, Mavis began her career with her family band, The Staple Singers in 1953. Singing locally before taking their music on the road (upon Mavis’ high school graduation in 1957), The Staple Singers, led by family patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples and including her siblings Cleo, Yvonne and Pervis, were often referred to as “God’s Greatest Hitmakers.” The band evolved from gospel hymn singers (with recordings on United, Riverside and VeeJay) to become the most popular and influential spiritually based band in America (as evidenced on their albums for Stax, Epic and Warner Brothers).

By the mid-1960s The Staple Singers, inspired by their close friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., began to sing “message” songs like “Long Walk To D.C.” and “When Will I Be Paid?,” bringing their moving and articulate music to a widespread and diverse audience. The Staple Singers hit the Top 40 eight times between 1971 and 1975, including two #1 singles: “I’ll Take You There” and “Let’s Do It Again.”

Mavis Staples recorded her first, self-titled solo album for the famed Stax label in 1969. After another Stax release, ONLY FOR THE LONELY, in 1970, she released a soundtrack album, A PIECE OF THE ACTION, for Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label. A 1984 album (also self-titled) preceded two albums under the direction of rock megastar Prince: 1989’s TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE, followed by 1993’s THE VOICE. Her most recent release, 1996’s SPIRITUALS & GOSPEL: A TRIBUTE TO MAHALIA JACKSON, is a moving song cycle honoring Jackson, a very close family friend.

Over the years Mavis has worked with a wide variety of musicians, from her close friend Bob Dylan (with whom she was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award in the “Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals” category for their duet on Gotta Change My Way Of Thinking from the album GOTTA CHANGE MY WAY OF THINKING—THE GOSEPL SONGS OF BOB DYLAN) to Aretha Franklin, The Band, Ray Charles, Nona Hendryx, Ann Peebles, Delbert McClinton and many others.