“You’ve got the love”, “Young hearts, run free”…Candi Staton is a bonafide legend. This is going to be special
CANDI STATON: BIO
Four-time Grammy® Award nominated singer Candi Staton has sweetly strutted between musical genres such as gospel, southern soul and Americana over the course of her celebrated career. However, danceable music has always been her main groove as she celebrates the 40th and 30th anniversaries respectively of her two biggest radio hits “Young Hearts Run Free” and 1986’s “You Got The Love.” The former is a liberating self-preservation anthem that peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart and No. 20 on the Pop chart in 1976 (No. 2 on the UK Pop chart). The latter is an inspiring chant that hit the American R&B Singles chart in 1986 but found greater success in Europe and the United Kingdom in particular where various remixes of it hit the British Top 10 Pop Singles chart in 1991, 1997 and again in 2006. Staton has a fresh version of “You Got The Love” bouncing off the concrete walls of clubs throughout Europe as she currently preps a new arrangement of “Young Hearts” for a new generation of fans.
“I’ve been very blessed to have two extremely big songs and a lot of other respectable hit songs when some artists never get one,” says Staton. “I love how each generation discovers some old song of mine that I had long retired from my concert repertoire.” Young artists are often dusting off Staton’s classics and introducing them to their audiences. Jason Isbell reprised Staton’s 1969 B-side “Heart On A String.” Christina Aguilera sampled 1972’s “Best Thing You Ever Had” and French producer Jean Tonique’s remix of “Best Thing” was featured in a Twitter Super Bowl TV ad campaign. Blues princess Susan Tedeschi covered “Evidence.” Florence & The Machine and Joss Stone both cut fun covers of “You Got the Love” in 2010. The rock band One eskimO sampled Staton’s 1971 cut “He Called Me Baby” for their debut hit “Kandi” that peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Triple A chart in 2010. Artists ranging from Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige to young superstars such as Jessie J, Paloma Faith and Pixie Lott have spoken publicly of their admiration for Staton’s music.
The Hanceville, Alabama native got her start singing professionally as a teenager singing with The Jewel Gospel Trio that recorded for Nashboro Records and toured with Sam Cooke and Mahalia Jackson in the 1950s. Eventually, she launched her R&B career at Birmingham’s 27/28 Club where she won a gig opening for R&B star Clarence Carter who snagged her a record deal with Rick Hall’s Fame Records label in 1968. Over the next five years, she cut a string of Top Ten southern soul hits such as Grammy-nominated renditions of “Stand By Your Man” and “In the Ghetto.” Staton was crowned the First Lady of Southern Soul just as she was leaving Fame for Warner Bros. and tossed off her tiara to become a disco princess with smash club hits such as 1976’s million-seller “Young Hearts Run Free,” “Victim” and “When You Wake Up Tomorrow.”
By 1983, Staton had beaten an alcohol addiction, joined a church, and left Pop music. She was a regular on Christian television programs such as “The PTL Club” and gained her own weekly TV program “New Direction” (later renamed “Say Yes”) on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) Network. For the next two decades, she recorded gospel music exclusively, including the Top Ten Grammy nominated projects “Make Me An Instrument” (1983) and “Sing A Song” (1986) LPs. Her gospel classics include “Love Lifted Me,” “Mama,” “The First Face I Want to See,” and “Sin Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”
In 2004, Staton returned to the Pop music scene to promote Honest Jons’ compilation of Staton’s 1969-1973 Fame recordings. It reached the Pop charts in England, France, the Netherlands, Japan, and Germany. There was an array of glowing reviews ranging from the New York Times to the rock magazine, Blender. London’s prestigious Guardian newspaper gave it five stars. The jazz magazine, Downbeat, proclaimed the CD a masterpiece. Since then, Staton has released two critically acclaimed Americana albums “His Hands” (2006) and “Who’s Hurting Now?” (2009). The latter won the Academie du Jazz in Paris’s Best Soul CD of the year in 2010. In 2014, Staton released “Life Happens” that debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Top Blues Albums chart and earned her two appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” The album boasted the radio hit “I Ain’t Easy to Love” featuring Jason Isbell and John Paul White of The Civil Wars. Rolling Stone Magazine hailed it as one of the 25 best country recordings of 2014.
Staton’s evergreen sound has musicians lining up to perform with her. Her 2008 collaboration “Love Sweet Sound” with British duo Groove Armada returned her to the Billboard Magazine Top Ten US Dance charts for the first time since 1980. She’s also enjoyed a huge international hit with various Top DJ remixes (Larse, Frankie Knuckles, Ashley Beedle and David Penn) of her inspirational tune “Hallelujah Anyway” that hit the pop and dance charts in Belgium, England, Germany and South Africa in 2012. The 2015 Dr. Shiver-Candi Staton ft. Doc M.C. “You Got The Love” (Official Remix) was another Beatport Top Ten chart hit and she’s currently working with other European remixers on new music. In the meantime, she’s recently released her 13th original gospel album “It’s Time To Be Free” and will soon follow-up with a new album of dance/R&B music.