Cleotha Staples Of The Staple Singers Dies At 78

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Staple Singers 1977 B&W

Sad news for the gospel world- Cleotha Staples of the Staple Singers died this past Thursday.  The eldest sibling of the legendary singing group, Cleotha had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the past 12 years.

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Cleotha was born April 11, 1934 in Mississippi.  The Staple Singers were formed when Roebuck Staple taught his children Cleotha, Mavis, Pervis and Cynthia gospel music as entertainment.  They began performing professionally in 1948 and were signed by Stax Records in the late 1960’s.

Some of their hits included “On My Way To Heaven” and “If You’re Ready.”

The Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2005.

Condolences to the Staple family.  Rest in power, Cleotha.

Watch The Staple Family perform “If You’re Ready” on Soul Train:

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