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Canzetta Maria "Candi" Staton (/ˈsttən/, STAY-tən) (born March 13, 1940)[1] [4][5][6][2] is an American singer–songwriter, best known in the United States for her 1970 remake of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" and her 1976 disco chart-topper "Young Hearts Run Free". In Europe, Staton's biggest selling record is the anthemic "You Got the Love" from 1986, released in collaboration with the Source. Staton was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.[7] Staton is a four-time Grammy Award nominee.

Candi Staton
Candi Staton.jpg
Staton, 2008.
Canzetta Maria Staton

(1940-03-13) March 13, 1940 (age 79)[1][2][3][4]
Joe Williams
(m. 1960; div. 1968)

Clarence Carter
(m. 1970; div. 1973)

Jimmy James
(m. 1974; div. 1977)

John Sussewell
(m. 1980; div. 1998)

Otis Nixon
(m. 2010; div. 2012)

Henry Hooper
(m. 2017)
Musical career
Years active1953–present
Associated acts


Early life and careerEdit

Born in Hanceville, Alabama, Staton and her sister Maggie were sent to Nashville, Tennessee at around age 11 or 12 for school. While attending Jewell Christian Academy, Staton's vocal abilities was quickly noticed by her peers and the school's pastor. Amazed by her voice, The pastor paired Staton and her sister with a third girl; Naomi Harrison and they formed the Jewell Gospel Trio.[8] As teenagers, the group toured the traditional gospel circuit during in the 1950s with the Soul Stirrers, C. L. Franklin and Mahalia Jackson.[9] They recorded several sides for Nashbro, Apollo and Savoy Records between 1953 and 1963.[citation needed]

Solo careerEdit

Staton onstage at Guilfest 2012.

In 1968, Staton was introduced to Rick Hall by Clarence Carter and launched her solo career as a Southern soul stylist,[9] garnering 16 R&B hits for Rick Hall's Fame Studios and gaining the title of "First Lady of Southern Soul" for her Grammy-nominated R&B renditions of the songs "Stand by Your Man" and "In the Ghetto".[10] Staton appeared on the September 23, 1972 edition (Season 2, Episode 1) of Soul Train.

In 1976, Staton began collaborating with producer David Crawford on disco songs such as "Young Hearts Run Free", which reached #1 on the US R&B charts, #2 in the UK Singles Chart and went Top 20 on the Pop Hot 100 [11] during the summer of 1976. It was remixed and re-released in 1986 reaching the UK Top 50.[11] Follow up song "Destiny" hit the Top 50 in the UK.[11] Candi's version of "Nights on Broadway" hit the UK Top 10 in 1977;[11] it had been a US Billboard hit for the Bee Gees over a year before. In 1978, Staton scored another Top 50 hit in the UK with "Honest I Do Love You".[11] In 1979, from her album "Chance" Staton released album single "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" (co-written by Patrick Adams and Wayne K. Garfield) and the title song "Chance", a top 20 R&B charted record. Other Dance club chart hits included "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" and "Victim". In 1982, Staton again hit the UK chart with a version of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds".[11][12] In 1996, singer Kym Mazelle recorded "Young Hearts Run Free" for the film adaption Romeo + Juliet of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.[13] In 1982, Staton returned to gospel music. Staton and her then-husband, John Sussewell founded Beracah Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia with help from Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL Ministries.[10] Staton has since recorded twelve gospel albums, two of which received Grammy Award nominations. Staton appears on the United Nations Register of Entertainers, Actors And Others Who Have Performed in Apartheid South Africa.[14]

In popular culture
Lambchop's "I Would Have Waited Here All Day"

Staton is the subject of the song "I Would Have Waited Here All Day" by Lambchop.

Helen Hoffner's "Summer of Love"

In Hoffner's 1993 hit "Summer Of Love", reference is made in the lyrics to "Young Hearts Run Free"; see Helen Hoffner's album Wild about Nothing.

Later and presentEdit

In 1991, Staton returned to UK popular charts by lending her vocals to the Source's British hit, "You Got the Love"[15](Positiva Records). That song reached #4 in 1991, and new version #3 in 1997 remixed by The Source. Staton signed with Intersound Records in 1995. In 2000, she released her eleventh album, Here's a Blessing. In 2004, the British record label Honest Jon's released a compilation CD of her country-soul work from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the self-titled Candi Staton, and Staton followed it up with a secular project in 2006 entitled His Hands, produced by Mark Nevers of Lambchop and with the title track written by Will Oldham. Two of Staton's children, Cassandra Williams-Hightower (background vocals) and Marcus Williams (drums), joined her on the CD. A second studio album for Honest Jon's, titled Who's Hurting Now?, appeared in 2009. She and Rick Hall reunited to make a half dozen more sides for Staton's 2014 southern soul album, Life Happens. The lead Americana radio single, "I Ain't Easy to Love", featured Jason Isbell and John Paul White (formerly of The Civil Wars). The trio performed the track on The Late Show with David Letterman. Staton's television show New Direction aired on TBN. Staton has also made appearances on the Praise the Lord telecast with the late Paul Crouch and his late wife Jan Crouch.[12] In August 2018, Staton released her 30th album, “Unstoppable,” which has been touted as a retro psychedelic R&B project. NPR music journalist, Alison Fensterstock, wrote that it, “Delivers the kind of forthright confidence and soul-girding power that can only be summoned by a grown woman who has learned a thing or two. And Staton has lived many lives. Creatively, the quadruple Grammy nominee and Christian Music Hall of Famer has moved between soul and R&B, gospel, disco and even EDM before returning to her roots as an elder stateswoman.”

Personal life and healthEdit

Staton has been married six times and has five children. Staton first married Joe Williams from 1960 until 1968. Together they have four children: Marcus Williams, Marcel Williams, Terry Williams and Cassandra Williams-Hightower. In 1970, Staton married singer Clarence Carter and together they had one child; Clarence Carter Jr. They later divorced in 1973. Staton was married to Jimmy James from 1974 until 1977. Two years after divorcing James, Staton married John Sussewell (who was a drummer for Ashford & Simpson and also Dory Previn's sixth album) in 1980, they divorced in 1998 after 18 years of marriage.[16] From 2010 until 2012, Staton was married former baseball player Otis Nixon.[17] Staton has been married to Henry Hooper since 2017. On 30 October 2018, Staton announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.[18][19]


Studio albumsEdit

  • I'm Just a Prisoner (1970)
  • Stand By Your Man (1971)
  • Candi Staton (1972)
  • Candi (1974)
  • Young Hearts Run Free (1976) UK #34[11]
  • Music Speaks Louder Than Words (1977)
  • House of Love (1978)
  • Chance (1979)
  • Candi Staton (1980)
  • Nightlites (1982)
  • Make Me an Instrument (1983)
  • The Anointing (1985)
  • Sing a Song (1986)
  • Love Lifted Me (1988)
  • Stand Up and Be a Witness (1990)
  • Standing on the Promises (1991)
  • I Give You Praise (1993)
  • It's Time (1995)
  • Cover Me (1997)
  • Outside In (1999)
  • Here's a Blessing (2000)
  • Christmas in My Heart (2000)
  • Glorify (2001)
  • Proverbs 31 Woman (2002)
  • His Hands (2006)
  • I Will Sing My Praise to You (2008)
  • Who's Hurting Now? (Release: spring 2009)
  • Life Happens (2014)
  • It's Time to Be Free (2016)
  • Unstoppable (2018)


  • The best of Candi Staton Featuring Young Hearts Run Free (1995 Warner Archives) Originals (not re-recorded)
  • The Ultimate Gospel Collection (2006)
  • Evidence: The Complete Fame Records Masters (2011) - For the first time ever all 48 of the tracks she made for Rick Hall's label between 1969 and 1974 are together in one place. 22 have never been on CD before and 12 are previously unreleased.

Singles (non comprehensive)Edit

  • "I'd Rather Be an Old Man's Sweetheart (Than a Young Man's Fool) (1969) R&B #9 US #46
  • "I'm Just a Prisoner (Of Your Good Lovin')" (1969) R&B #13 US #56
  • "Sweet Feeling" (1970) R&B #5 US #60
  • "Stand by Your Man" (1970) R&B #4 US #24
  • "He Called Me Baby" (1971) R&B #9 US #52
  • "In the Ghetto" (1972) R&B #12 US #48
  • "Do It in the Name of Love" (1973) R&B #17 US #80
  • "As Long as He Takes Care of Home" (1974) R&B #6 US #51
  • "Young Hearts Run Free" (1976) US #20 UK #2 R&B #1 (1986 re-release #47, 1999 re-release #29)
  • "Destiny" (1976) UK #41
  • "Nights on Broadway" (1977) UK #6 R&B #16 US #102
  • "Honest I Do Love You" (1978) UK #48 R&B #77
  • "Victim" (1978) R&B #17
  • "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" (1979) R&B #13
  • "Suspicious Minds" (1982) UK #31
  • "You Got the Love" (1986) UK #95 R&B #88
  • "You Got the Love" (The Source featuring Candi Staton - 1991) UK #4 (1997 re-release UK #3 (Now Voyager Mix), 2005 import release UK #60, 2006 "You Got the Love (New Voyager Mix)" (featuring Candi Staton - re-release) #7 UK)
  • "Love On Love" (1999) UK #27
  • "Young Hearts Run Free" (re-recording) (1999) UK #29
  • "I Just Can't Get to Sleep at All" (2000) Energise Records, UK; limited release
  • "Love Sweet Sound" Groove Armada featuring Candi Staton (2007)
  • "Wilder Side" Rasmus Faber & Alf Tumble featuring Candi Staton (2010)[11]
  • "Hallelujah Anyway" (2012)[20][21][22][23][24][25]
  • "It's Your Season (B.W.Ø Remix)" (2016)


  1. ^ a b "Candi Staton on Instagram: "My family surprised me for my birthday with a party, they kept this a secret for almost 2 weeks. How thankful I am that I have lived to see…"". Instagram.
  2. ^ a b Carpenter, Bil (2 April 2019). Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9780879308414 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Hardy, Phil (2 April 1995). The Da Capo Companion to 20th-century Popular Music. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306806407 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b "Candi Staton | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  5. ^ Hildebrand, Lee (1 October 1994). Stars of soul and rhythm & blues: top recording artists and showstopping performers, from Memphis and Motown to now. Billboard Books. ISBN 9780823076338 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Taylor, Marc (2 April 2019). A Touch of Classic Soul 2: The Late 1970s. Aloiv Pub. ISBN 9780965232876 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Christian Music Hall of Fame Archived 2009-12-25 at the Wayback Machine Staton inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame
  8. ^ "Candi Staton Stops At Nothing To Create".
  9. ^ a b from an interview on episode 191 of the Americana Music Show, published May 12, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Divastation: Candi Staton". Archived from the original on 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 525. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  12. ^ a b "Candi Staton". Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  13. ^ "Divastation: Kym Mazelle". Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-02-02. Kym Mazelle's cover of "Young Hearts Run Free" for the movie Romeo and Juliet.
  15. ^ Songfacts. "You Got The Love by Source featuring Candi Staton - Songfacts".
  16. ^ "Candi Staton Page". 1943-03-13. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  17. ^ Staton, Candi. "Candi Staton's Divorce from Otis Nixon". Archived from the original on 2013-04-20.
  18. ^ "Candi Staton diagnosed with breast cancer". 30 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Singer Candi Staton says she has breast cancer". 30 October 2018.
  20. ^ Resident Advisor. "RA: Larse". Resident Advisor.
  21. ^ "27th May – Essential Mix – Floorplan".
  22. ^ "Calvin Harris Takeover - Annie Mac Show (BBC Radio 1)". 3 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Release : "Hallelujah Anyway" by Candi Staton - MusicBrainz".
  24. ^ "Candi Staton Live Review: MIF 2011". Manchester Confidential.
  25. ^ "Tiesto – Club Life 284 : 09-09-2012". 11 September 2012.

External linksEdit