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Mavis Staples Shares Prince-inspired New Song “Worthy”
Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

Mavis Staples Shares Prince-inspired New Song “Worthy”

A legendary performer who will turn 85 next month on July 10, Mavis Staples continues to be a tour-de-force in music and a voice for the voiceless in today’s divided society. Well known for her work in the gospel and Americana space, Staples is also an R&B icon who famously worked with the one and only Prince in his 80’s heyday. Reminiscent of those records, today she is sharing the new song “Worthy.”  
 
Written and produced by Mark Ronson protégé MNDR, the song came to fruition via an all-women team, while Ms. Staples makes it all her own. “It’s a pick-me-up song – it’s a celebration, and you can’t help but move,” she says. “Certain songs just cover you, and this song is just so sassy and fire. It’s got me fired up.” As a black woman who lent her voice to the civil rights movement, the song vibrates through Mavis’s unique perspective as both a call to action and an infectious, dance-worthy tune; check it out below.  

Listen to “Worthy”: https://youtu.be/9wYU_4xDn8Y 

"Working with the legendary Mavis Staples seems like a dream,” MNDR gushed. “Listening to her soulful voice, spending time in her grace, and watching her artistry in the studio as the trailblazing icon of music and culture was an experience too profound to put into words and one that I will never forget. As I listened to her breathe life into our song 'Worthy’ – a song of celebration through good times and hard times, a song to celebrate ourselves and others – I realized that there is no other artist who could give this song more spirit and soul than Mavis Staples, a legend, an icon. It was one of the most profound moments of my life, and I am forever grateful." 

The artwork for "Worthy” features the painting The Darker the Berry, The Sweeter the Juice (2015, acrylic on canvas) by distinguished American artist Henry Taylor. Much like Staples, Taylor’s pieces are driven and defined by empathy, engaging the dynamic subtleties of his eclectically sourced subjects and their environments, historical and personal, each work a holistic visual narrative. 
 
Hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” Staples is the kind of once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She’s both a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; a civil rights icon; a GRAMMY Award-winner; a chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient; and a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House. 


At a time when most artists begin to wind down, Staples ramped things up, releasing a trio of critically acclaimed albums in her 70’s with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy that prompted Pitchfork to rave that “her voice has only gained texture and power over the years” and People to proclaim that she “provides the comfort of a higher power.” “I sing because I want to leave people feeling better than I found them,” Staples says. “I want them to walk away with a positive message in their hearts, feeling stronger than they felt before. I’m singing to myself for those same reasons, too.” 

On July 9, Staples and award-winning children’s poet Carol Boston Weatherford will release the new children’s book ‘Bridges Instead of Walls: The Story of Mavis Staples’, a vibrant and poetic new picture book that introduces young readers to Staples’ life story, who began singing at age 8 and ever since has used her voice as a rallying cry to the country at numerous civil rights protests and continues to sing and share her message of love, faith and justice in front of large audiences today. Pre-order it HERE

 

Staples recently celebrated her upcoming birthday early in stellar fashion at Los Angeles's YouTube Theater this past April, gracing the stage alongside a star-studded lineup including Hozier, Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Black Pumas, and more. Currently on tour in Europe, Staples will return to the US and perform at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July picnic on the nation’s birthday. The next day she begins a run of dates with Norah Jones, who she affectionally calls “my baby sister.” All upcoming dates are listed below. 

 

 

TOUR DATES 
June 18 – Paris, France @ Casino de Paris 
June 20 – Barcelona, Spain @ Parallel 62 – Sala Club 
June 22 – Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain @ Azkena Rock Festival  
June 24 – London, UK @ Union Chapel 
June 25 – London, UK @ Union Chapel 
July 4 – Camden, NJ @ Freedom Mortgage Pavilion 
July 5 – Canandaigua, NY @ CMAC # 
July 6 – Lewiston, NY @ Artpark Mainstage Theater # 
July 10 – Huber Heights, OH @ The Rose Music Center at The Heights # 
July 11 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center # 
July 13 – Interlochen, MI @ Kresge Auditorium # 
July 14 – Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia Festival # 
July 19 – Trumansburg, NY @ Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival  
Aug 4 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre # 
Aug 6 – San Diego, CA @ The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park # 
Aug 15 – Park City, UT @ Park City Song Summit  
Aug 17 – Three Oaks, MI @ Acorn Theater 
Aug 28 – Beverly, MA @ The Cabot 
Aug 29 – North Truro, MA @ Payomet Performing Arts Center 
Aug 31 – Orkney Springs, VA @ Shenandoah Valley Music Festival 
Sept 13 – Abiquiu, NM @ Blossoms & Bones Ghost Ranch Music Festival 
Sept 29 – Monterey, CA @ Monterey Jazz Festival 
 
# - with Norah Jones 
 

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