Mavis Staples: From Stax, to Prince, to an acclaimed Civil Rights album 

She told Blues & Soul magazine, "When I first met Prince it was in August of
'87. He came to the LA Forum to watch us when we were playing an oldies
show. I told my sister, 'I'm gonna be real cool when I meet Prince.' I was
backstage and he came walking towards me with this little hip walk, tight
suit and cane - and cool just went out the window! I screamed just like a

"The first thing I told him was, 'I've gotta kiss you for my mama,' because
she's a big Prince fan. He said, 'Kiss me on the other cheek for mama too.'
When I first met him, though, he wouldn't really talk to me then. He'd just
stand there and smile and blush. He stayed in the dressing room about 45
minutes. I was talking the whole time and he'd just give me one or two word
answers. He was so shy, but I picked up some beautiful vibes from him. Then
my daddy walked into the room and walked up to Prince and looked him in the
face and said, 'Young man, it's mighty nice of you to come out here and meet
Mavis.' Prince looked at daddy and said, 'You can play.' I went back to the
hotel and said to myself, 'Now if we're gonna work together, I've gotta find
a way we can communicate,' so I started writing him letters, every chance I
could get. Finally he started calling up."

Mavis' first album for Prince's Paisley Park, 'Time Waits For No One',
suffered from a lack of radio play and though she had a role in Prince's
Graffiti Bridge movie and recorded a second album with Prince, 'The Voice'
in 1993, somehow the expected big hit eluded the diva. Mavis looks back on
her years with Prince with considerable warmth. Despite his sexually
explicit lyrics, his controversial stage act and eccentric posturings Mavis
saw another side of the genius musician. She told Cross Rhythms, "Prince
knows that his talent is a gift from God. He plays every instrument and no
body taught him how to do that you know! He would question Yvonne, my
sister, and me and we would talk about the Bible. We told him, 'One day you
gonna preach!' He's such a humble person, his heart is good. Now I hate to
say it, I don't know what your faith is, but he's gotten with the Jehovah
Witnesses and I am so sad about that. He calls me, he talks to me and tells
me all about the Bible. He says, 'Mavis you are way ahead of me, I want to
catch up with you.'

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