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Cleotha Staples, a Staple singer, dies at 78

Cleotha Staples

Cleotha Staples, a Staple singer, dies at 78


     Cleotha Staples, the eldest sibling in the influential gospel and rhythm-and-blues group the Staple Singers, died on Thursday at her home. Cleotha battled Alzheimer’s disease for many years before her death, she was 78.

    The Staple Singers were formed in Chicago when the Mississippi born singer and guitarist Roebuck Staples, better known as Pops, began teaching gospel songs to his children, Cleotha, Pervis, Yvonne, Mavis and Cynthia, to keep them entertained in the evenings. Mr. Staples and all his children except Cynthia began performing professionally and recording after singing together in church in 1948.

    Cleotha was born on April 11, 1934, in Drew, Miss., the first child of Pops and Oceola Staples. Two years later, the family moved to Chicago.

    Cleotha was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with her family in 1999. The Staple Singers also received a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in 2005.


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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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