Mavis Staples to perform at Egyptian Theatre


Wikimedia Commons/Lauren Gerson

Mavis Staples, Grammy Award-winning singer and civil rights activist, and guitarist Rick Holmstrom perform “We Shall Overcome” before President Obama’s keynote speech at the Civil Rights Summit on April 10, 2014.

By Eli Tecktiel, Lifestyle Writer

Grammy-winning singer Mavis Staples is performing at 8 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Egyptian Theatre, located at 135 N 2nd St in DeKalb.

Mavis Staples has amassed many awards over the course of her long career. Her most recent win came as a featured artist at the 64th Grammy Awards in 2022 when Jon Batiste’s album “We Are” won Album of the Year. Additionally, Staples was honored as a solo artist at the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors.

Staples first came to prominence with her family’s group The Staples Singers, who first began performing in churches in the late 1940s. According to Rolling Stone, the group signed with Vee-Jay Records in the 1950s and one of their earliest hits was a cover of the traditional folk song, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” Throughout their career, they would continue to infuse their gospel and R&B style into covers of folk and rock songs like “The Weight” by The Band and “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. The Staples Singers won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Staples released her debut self-titled solo album on the seminal Stax label in 1968. In the years that followed, she would collaborate with a wide variety of artists such as Bob Dylan, Prince and Arcade Fire.

Her most recent album, “Carry Me Home,” was released on the ANTI- label in 2022. The album was recorded in collaboration with The Band’s Levon Helm in 2011, less than a year before his death. “Carry Me Home” consists of covers of songs by artists such as Bob Dylan and Curtis Mayfield, as well as a new rendition of The Band’s “The Weight.”

The NIU Concert Choir and the NIU Black Choir will be opening for Staples. There are a limited number of free tickets that students can pick up at the Welcome Desk in the Holmes Student Center. Ticket prices start at $45, going up to $100 for Premier tables, which the Egyptian Theatre says are located in front of the stage and include bar service.