Canzetta Maria "Candi" Staton (born March 13, 1940 in Hanceville) is a soul and gospel singer, best known for her 1976 disco hit "Young Hearts Run Free".
In the early 1950s Staton and her sister Maggie were sent to the Jewell Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. Her vocal abilities quickly set her apart from the crowd; the school's pastor teamed the two sisters with a third girl to form the Jewell Gospel Trio. As teenagers, they toured the traditional gospel circuit in the 1950s with the Soul Stirrers, C. L. Franklin, and Mahalia Jackson. They recorded several sides for Nashbro, Apollo, and Savoy Records between 1953 and 1963.
In 1968, Staton launched her solo career as a Southern soul stylist, 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 country tunes "Stand by Your Man" and "In the Ghetto". Staton appeared on "Soul Train" on September 23, 1972.
In 1975, Staton began collaborating with producer David Crawford on dance songs such as "Young Hearts Run Free" which reached #2 in the UK pop charts during the summer of 1976 (It was remixed and re-released in 1986, again reaching the top 50). Her follow-up song "Destiny" also hit the top 50 in the UK. Staton's version of "Nights on Broadway" hit the UK top 10 in 1977; it had been a US billboard hit for the BeeGees the previous year. In 1978 she scored another top 50 hit in the UK with "Honest I Do I Love You". Other club hits included "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" and "Victim". In 1982 Staton again hit the UK charts with a version of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious minds". Staton collaborated with Change, Luther Vandross, and Janet Jackson on the title song of her 1979 album "Chance" and on the single "When You Wake Up Tomorrow" (co-written by Patrick Adams).
In 1982, Staton returned to gospel music. She married her fourth husband, John Sussewell (drummer for Ashford & Simpson). Together they founded Beracah Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia with help from Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL Ministries. She has since recorded eight gospel albums, two of which received Grammy nominations. Staton's television show New Direction airs on TBN. Staton has also made appearances on the "Praise the Lord" telecast with Paul Crouch and his wife Jan. In 2007, Staton was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.
In 1991 she returned to popular mainstream charts with a Top 10 British hit, "You Got the Love," a club-styled dance hit that sold two million copies. Staton signed with Intersound Records in 1995. In 2000, she released her eleventh album, Here's a Blessing. Staton recorded 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 Hightower (background vocals) and Marcus Williams (drums), joined her on the CD.
- Candi Staton (1969) I'm Just a Prisoner. Fame Records
- Candi Staton (1971) Stand By Your Man. Fame Records
- Candi Staton (1973) Candi Staton. Fame Records
- Candi Staton (1974) Candi. Warner Bros. Records
- Candi Staton (1976) Young Hearts Run Free. Warner Bros. Records
- Candi Staton (1977) Music Speaks Louder Than Words. Warner Bros. Records
- Candi Staton (1978) House of Love. Warner Bros. Records
- Candi Staton (1979) Chance. Warner Bros. Records
- Candi Staton (1981) Nightlites. Sequel Records
- Candi Staton (1983) Make Me An Instrument. Beracah Records
- Candi Staton (1985) The Anointing. Beracah Records
- Candi Staton (1986) Sing a Song. Beracah Records
- Candi Staton (1988) Love Lifted Me. Beracah Records
- Candi Staton (1990) Stand Up And Be A Witness. Beracah Records
- Candi Staton (1991) Standing On The Promises. Beracah Records
- Candi Staton (1993) I Give You Praise. Beracah Records
- Candi Staton (1995) It's Time. Intersound Records
- Candi Staton (1997) Cover Me. CGI Records
- Candi Staton (1999) Outside In. React Records
- Candi Staton (2000) Here's a Blessing. Lightyear Records
- Candi Staton (2001) Glorify. Blue Moon Records
- Candi Staton (2001) Christmas In My Heart. Lightyear Records
- Candi Staton (2002) Proverbs 31 Woman. Lightyear Records
- Candi Staton (2006) His Hands. Astralwerks
- Candi Staton (2008) I Will Sing My Praise to You Emtro Gospel
- Candi Staton (2009) Who's Hurting Now? Parlophone
- "Candi Staton." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 Sep 2009, 19:59 UTC. 16 Sep 2009 .
- Candi Staton website Candi Staton at All Music Guide