Yvonne Staples died at her home in Chicago on Tuesday following a battle with colon cancer, which she was diagnosed with just two weeks ago

By Stephanie Petit
April 11, 2018 10:00 AM
Yvonne Staple
Charley Gallay/Getty

Yvonne Staples, a member of her family’s gospel group the Staple Singers, has died, according to multiple reports.

The singer died at her home in Chicago on Tuesday following a battle with colon cancer, which she was diagnosed with just two weeks ago, according to The Guardian. She was 80.

Bill Carpenter, a family friend, told the New York Times that Yvonne performed background vocals and served as the group’s business manager.

“She was very content in that role,” Carpenter said. “She had no desire to be a front singer, even though people in the family told her she had a great voice.”

Her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples, formed the Staple Singers in 1948 with Yvonne and her sisters, Cleotha and Mavis, according to Rolling Stone.

After making their mark on the gospel scene, and gaining fans such as Martin Luther King Jr., the group turned their attention to R&B in the 1970s. Some of their biggest hits included “Respect Yourself,” “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)” and “Let’s Do It Again.”

Yvonne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with her family in 1999, and the group also received a lifetime achievement award from the Grammys in 2005.

Frank Carroll/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Yvonne acted as her sister Mavis’ road manager until just a few years ago, Carpenter told the Associated Press.

“She didn’t want to talk about her own singing,” he said. “She said, ‘Mavis is the star. Mavis is the voice.’ She never cared about attention for herself.”

Yvonne is survived by Mavis and her brother, Pervis, according to the New York Times.

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