CHICAGO, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Cleotha Staples, a founding member of the Chicago soul and gospel group the Staple Singers, died at the age of 78 after suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.
Staples passed away Thursday on Chicago's South Side in front of her longtime caretaker, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In the late 1940's, Staples and her siblings, Pervis, Yvonne and Mavis, were taught to sing by their father, Roebuck "Pops" Staple, and were soon invited to perform at churches on the South Side. By 1953, the Staple Singers were recording albums and began touring outside Chicago.
The group went on to sell tens of millions of records and scored hits such as "I'll Take You There," "Respect Yourself" and "Uncloudy Day."
For the past 12 years of her live, Cleotha Staples suffered from Alzheimer's Disease and was under 24-hour in-home care. She is survived by her sisters Mavis and Yvonne and her brother, Pervis.