In this Feb. 13, 2011, file photo, Mavis Staples performs onstage during the pre-telecast at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, Fi)
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The Newport Folk Festival says gospel singer Mavis Staples will perform in this year’s line-up.
Staples is the first act to be announced for the 2014 festival, which will take place from July 25 to July 27. The festival says special guests will honor her birthday and “75 Years of Mavis” throughout the weekend.
Founder George Wein (WEEN’) says Monday it’s a joy to honor Staples. He says her family’s band, The Staple Singers, was one of the first gospel groups to play at Newport and that they have appeared at both the folk and jazz festivals over the years.
The festival was first held in 1959 and has featured influential musicians like Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Johnny Cash.