At 80 years old, activist and legendary gospel singer Mavis Staples has lived lifetimes, ones in which she has marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, performed at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, and, years later, for President Barack Obama, and has been inducted into both the Rock ’n’ Roll and Blues halls of fame. She’s the subject of a 2015 HBO documentary and has collaborated with Bob Dylan, Prince, Gorillaz, Pusha T, Arcade Fire, Ben Harper, and Jeff Tweedy, and, on 2011’s Grammy-winning Livin’ on a High Note, she covered songs by Nick Cave, Tune-yards, Neko Case, M. Ward, and Justin Vernon. This is but the tip of the iceberg in terms of Staples’ incredible career as the coolest woman in music since she was 13 years old performing gospel music with her father and her siblings as the Staple Singers. For this special appearance, the genre-hopping powerhouse vocalist and unstoppable activist will perform to raise money for Ann Arbor nonprofit the Breakfast at St. Andrew’s, which has provided free meals to those in need every day since 1982.
Performance begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Michigan Theater; 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-8397; michtheater.org. Tickets are $45.
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