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Monday 22 September 2014

Singer Cleotha Staples dies at 78

Published 22/02/2013 | 17:51

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Cleotha Staples of the sibling group The Staples Singers has died aged 78 (AP)

Cleotha Staples, the eldest sibling in the highly influential gospel group The Staple Singers, has died.

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The 78-year-old - known as "Cleedi" - died on Thursday at her Chicago home, said family friend and music publicist Bill Carpenter.

Cleotha had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the last decade.

The Staple Singers began as a way for Roebuck "Pops" Staples to entertain his family, which included five children - Cleotha, Pervis, Yvonne, Mavis and Cynthia.

He taught the children gospel songs and accompanied them on his guitar.

Two decades later they became unlikely hit makers for the Stax label.

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

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