Yvonne Staples, singer and manager of the Staple Singers, has passed away at 80.
Family friend Bill Carpenter confirmed the news to The New York Times, adding that Staples had suffered from colon cancer.
Staples provided background vocals for the Staple Singers, a role which Carpenter said she was “very content in.” “She had no desire to be a front singer, even though people in the family told her she had a great voice,” he told The New York Times.
Led by her father, the Staple Singers, including Pervis, Mavis and Cleotha Staples, formed in 1948. Yvonne joined in 1971 after Pervis left the group to serve in the military. She later took on the added role of manager.
The group had a string of hits including “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There.” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
Staples is survived by her brother Pervis and her sister Mavis.