In October 2017, Candi Staton was at a Nashville recording studio, working on a new song called "The Prize Is Not Worth the Pain." As her band stretched out the disco-funk tune into an extended jam, the singer began improvising phrases and one-liners. At the very end, Staton eventually arrived at the hard, declarative truth she had been working toward the whole time: "I am somebody," she growled with a preacher's conviction, "all by myself." When Mark Nevers, Staton's producer, heard her sing that line, a lightbulb went on. "It was just shocking," he says. "I was like, 'That's it. That's what this whole record's about.'" I am somebody all by myself . Candi Staton has been striving to live up to that promise throughout her career, while moving freely among a variety of scenes and eras. Her work has taken her from the golden-age gospel circuit of the Fifties to the historic R&B recording studios of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in the early Seventies and the iconic New York clubs of the late Seventies, where Staton reinvented herself as a disco hitmaker with songs like "Victim" and "Young Hearts Run Free." In the Eighties, Staton emerged once again, this time as a contemporary gospel… Read full this story
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