|Staple Singers, Cleotha on left|
From Chicago Tribune: Cleotha Staples, founding member of the Staple Singers, dies at 78
She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for 12 years, and had been under 24-hour home care. Her longtime caretaker was with her when she died at 11:11 a.m. Thursday in her high-rise condominium on the South Side, according to her sister, Mavis Staples.
Cleotha Staples was a vital component of the Staple Singers’ distinctive harmonies. Her soprano voice, which rang out like a bell and descended with a distinctive twang, was among the key musical elements in the family group that sold tens of millions of records and scored hits such as “I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself” and “Uncloudy Day.”
Cleotha is survived by her sisters Mavis and Yvonne and her brother, Pervis.