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Mavis Staples on how she’s still on the go at 79

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Mavis Staples first appeared on stage at New York’s Apollo Theater in 1956 with her family’s band, The Staple Singers. But more than six decades later, she’s as vibrant as ever and said she feels more successful now than she ever was.

“I’m supposed to be going on in,” Staples said. “But I’m coming on out.”

The Grammy-winner and Kennedy Center honoree will officially turn 80 next month but the party’s already started. The Newport Folk Festival organized all-star birthday tributes in Nashville, Los Angeles and New York City. The party at the Apollo Theatre had an all-star guest list: Staples performed a Talking Heads classic with David Byrne and Jon Batiste joined her for a Staple Singers classic.

Staples’ latest solo album, “We Get By,” pays homage to those early years. The cover photo, featuring a group of African-American girls looking in on a playground, was taken by Gordon Parks in Alabama in 1956.

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