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Mavis Staples: Union Chapel, London

Caroline Sullivan, The Guardian, 11 June 2014

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME," Mavis Staples sings vampily. "How old am I? Sixteen years old." In fact, she turned 75 today, but 16 feels about right. The gospel/soul great is one of the few voices of the civil-rights era still to be touring, and while there's gravelly gravitas to her vocals and her swaying hips, her fire is undimmed. A belated Grammy winner for the 2011 album You Are Not Alone — her 13th solo record in a career that started in 1950 with the Staple Singers — she wears her stature lightly.

Total word count of piece: 295


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