Mavis Staples has done it again! In her newest album, Livin’ on a High Note, she leaves listeners with exactly same feeling of elevation. The album is sure to create an atmosphere of inspiration in listeners’ car, homes and headphones. Staples ensured this would happen by enlisting the help of song writers such as tUnE-yArDs, Aloe Blacc, Neko Case and Ben Harper. She wanted to record an album that uplifted fans in the most crucial experiences like nurturing inner strength, speaking out for what’s right, and building supportive friendship. It should come as no shock, that she accomplished just that.

Staples has one of the most interesting stories in modern music. She recently said told Pitchfork media, “I’ve been singing freedom songs for a long time.” And that she has. Staples began her singing career in the 1950’s singing at churches with her father and siblings in a group known as The Staples Singers. They would sing gospel at Chicago area churches and occasionally performed at a local radio station. The group signed their first professional contract in 1952. In the 1960’s Staples would become a spiritual and musical voice for the civil rights movement.

It is no surprise to see so many important collaborators on Livin’ on a High Note. The gospel-soul singer has kept good company over the years. Markedly, her friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a clear influence on the singer’s evolution as a music artist.  Staples includes a song titled “MLK Song” on the album, which is centered on sentiments taken from Dr. King’s final sermon arranged by M. Ward. She was good friends with Bob Dylan, whom she reportedly turned down a marriage proposal from. Staples collaborated with Prince on two albums, Time Waits for No One in 1989 and The Voice in 1993.

Staples has recorded many strong albums, one which included the song  “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”, which landed the singer the 2016 Grammy award in the category of  Best American Roots Performance. Needless to say, fans can expect to take a moving journey with a musical pioneer who will lead them to places that will keep them feeling revived and hopeful.

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