Giving Roses: Candi Staton the ‘First Lady Of Southern Soul’

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Candi Staton is a pivotal figure in music and entertainment and the ladies of Rhythm and Views gave her flowers while she can still smell them.

Candi Staton via Getty Images

Candi Staton was born on March 13, 1940, in Hanceville, Alabama but moved to Nashville, Tennessee to go to school. While attending school, her peers began to notice that she had a beautiful singing voice. Staton was put in a group with her sister and another girl to form the group the Jewell Gospel Trio.

The group would tour the gospel circuit in the 1950s with Mahalia Jackson, C.L. Franklin, and the Soul Stirrers. In the late 1960s, Staton began her solo career after she was introduced to producer Rick Hall. While working with Hall, they had 16 R&B hits together and she would later be known as the “First Lady of Southern Soul.” 

The singer earned her first Grammy nominations for her R&B covers of “Stand by Your Man”, and “In the Ghetto.” It wasn’t until 1976 that she scored her first number-one hit with the Disco classic, “Young Hearts Run Free,” which was later revealed that the song spoke about being a victim of domestic violence when she was married.  In 1978, Staton’s single “Honest I Do Love You” landed on the Top 50 UK charts. 

Throughout her career, Staton has jumped between gospel and R&B music, winning multiple awards and garnering 4 Grammy nominations. She has recorded twelve gospel albums, and she appears on the United Nations Register of Entertainers, Actors, and Others Who Have Performed in Apartheid South Africa.

We just want to say congratulations and thank you to Candi Staton for all that you have done. We wish you nothing but much more success and love.