There is perhaps no sound more recognizable in American gospel than the booming voice of Mavis Staples. With a career spanning more than 40 years, Staples transcends musical genres and remains an inspirational force in soul, blues, and rock.
Staples began singing with her family band, the groundbreaking Staple Singers, when she was just 13 years old. Upon her high school graduation, the family began touring, bringing gospel to mainstream audiences who had never heard the sounds before. During her career, Staples has collaborated with some of the most talented artists of the last century, including Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and Prince.
NPR's Michele Norris spoke with the gospel legend about her latest CD, Have a Little Faith. A collection of uplifting, gospel-rooted songs, the CD includes the song "In Times Like These," a tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy. "Everybody needed someone to turn to at that time," Staples says, "[this song] is a strong lyric for healing." The album also includes "Pop's Recipe," a song about her late father, the legendary "Pops" Staples.