Cleotha 'Cleedi' Staples Dead at 78

The Staples Singers member had Alzheimer's disease.

Posted: 02/25/2013 06:33 PM EST
Cleotha Staples

Music lost another legend last week. Cleotha Staples, a founding member of R&B/soul group The Staples Singers, died on February 21 in Chicago. The singer, 78, had battled Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade. 

"We will keep on," Mavis Staples says of her sisters’ death. "Yvonne [Staples] and I will continue singing to keep our father's legacy and our sister's legacy alive.  I just finished my second record with Jeff Tweedy, and it will be dedicated to my dear Cleedi's memory."


Formed in a church basement in 1948, The Staples Singers rocked the gospel circuit for over a decade before bursting onto the mainstream pop scene in the 1960s. Their many hits include such anthems as "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There." The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and recieved a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 Grammys. 

Cleotha is survived by her siblings Mavis, Yvonne and Pervis Staples. Their father Roebuck "Pops" Staples, who formed the group, died in 2000. 

Cleotha will be remembered during a funeral service held in Chicago on Friday.

May she rest in peace.


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(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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