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Three Fun Things You Should Know About Mavis Staples

February is a busy month for the ever-prolific Mavis Staples. She releases her 16th album, Livin’ on a High Note, on the 19th, and Jessica Edwards’s documentary Mavis! premieres on the 29th on HBO. Here, three little-known tidbits about the 76-year-old gospel icon, culled from the movie.

Photo: Sue Cassidy Clark/Courtesy of HBO

1 She had ice cream with Sam Cooke on a regular basis.

Cooke, Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield, Johnnie Taylor, and Spencer Taylor would all flock to her Bronzeville backyard for homemade ice cream.

2 She had a fling with Bob Dylan.

Asked about her rumored 1964 romance with Dylan, Staples concedes that the pair “may have smooched.”

3 Prince got her career back on track.

After Staples fought with her label during the disco-dominated ’70s, Prince tapped her for a production deal that yielded Time Waits for No One and The Voice.


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