Candi Staton

Candi Staton (born March 13, 1940) is an American soul singer from Hanceville, Ala. She started in the Southern soul vein with three albums on Fame between 1970 and 1972. Embracing soul-funk, she released six albums on Warner Bros. between 1974 and 1980, charting in 1976 with “Young Hearts Run Free,” a disco-age anthem of perseverance and optimism. During the 1980s and ’90s, she issued a string of gospel discs before re-embracing secular soul in the late 2000s.

Candi was born Canzetta Maria Staton on March 13, 1940, in Hanceville, Ala. At age 11, she was sent with her sister Maggie to Nashville, where they attended school. Peers and faculty quickly took notice of her vocal abilities. The sister’s pastor paired them with a third girl, Naomi Harrison, in the Jewell Gospel Trio. During the late 1950s, they cut five singles on Nashboro.

In 1967, Staton recorded the songs “Now You’ve Got The Upper Hand” and “You Can’t Stop Me,” both written by Bo Fowler and produced by Bob Grove and Richard Dingler. The two tracks were paired on a 1969 single by the two-press Unity Record Company. By then, she had signed to FAME (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises), which issued her proper debut single, “Never In Public” (b/w “You Don’t Love Me No More”). The b-side was co-written by Staton and soul singer Clarence Carter, who she married the following year.


  • I’m Just a Prisoner (1970)
  • Stand by Your Man (1970)
  • Candi Staton (1972)
  • Candi (1974)
  • Young Hearts Run Free (1976)
  • Music Speaks Louder Than Words (1977)
  • House of Love (1978)
  • Chance (1979)
  • Candi Staton (1980)
  • Nightlites (1982)
  • His Hands (2006)
  • Who’s Hurting Now? (2009)
  • Life Happens (2014)
  • It’s Time to Be Free (2016)
  • Unstoppable (2018)


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