October 09, 1997 12:00 AM

Grammy winning Roebuck “Pops” Staples, 84, patriarch of gospel and R&B’s the Staple Singers (founded in 1948), died Tuesday in Chicago. The group’s first No. 1 hit was 1972’s “I’ll Take You There,” which was followed with such top 40 hits as “Respect Yourself,” “Heavy Makes You Happy,” and “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me).” In the ’80s, “Pops” went solo.

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