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The American

PHOTO BY SEAN COKES

A Woe

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ANDI STATON is, to many, one of soul music’s lost stars. She had a string of R&B hits for Rick Hall’s Fame Studios, then huge disco hits on both sides of the Atlantic like ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and ‘Nights on Broadway’. Then she seemed to disappear at the top of the game. Now, at 75, she’s back with a vengeance. Candi tells The American’s Michael Burland about how ‘Life Happens’.

34 July 2015

I’m making up for lost time! I was on the chitlin’ circuit and I got so tired of the competition, the places I had to play, the travel, the money, the promoters that cheated you out of all your money… I just got tired of the fight. But I did a lot during those years. I’ve never been stationary. I went back to church, where my roots are. I got myself back into the word of God. I straightened my personal life out and started doing

moral, good things for people. I got a couple of gospel music TV shows, New Directions and Say Yes, that lasted for 25 years. Did you have your own church? We did, I was married at the time and we pastored a church for seven years. We established our own record label and publishing company, writing and recording and putting out gospel records. Then ‘You’ve Got The Love’ came out [a top ten British dance hit by The Source, featuring Candi’s vocals] and I had to get rid of that old mindset that if you sing secular music you’re going to hell. That had been hammered into me as a kid. It’s hard to pull it out of you when you’ve been told it forever – that’s Bible, that’s just the way it is. You can so easily get into a cultish mentality and you can’t think for yourself. It’s a little better now. They’ve lightened up – they do rap music in church and the kids dress like rappers. That was a no-no in my day – if you didn’t wear a long skirt and long sleeves it would’ve been over for you, you’re definitely not Christian. Religion is so confining if you go by rules and regulations, being judged, and ostracized if you don’t do exactly as they say. I go to church with my family sometimes but I’m not as involved as I used to be. I began to broaden my horizons, I started to read, and think for myself. I thought, now why would ‘Stand By Your Man’ or ‘In The Ghetto’ send you to hell [laughs]. That’s ‘life’ music. We live it every day, why can’t we sing it? I started going back to Europe – I love the people there so much. They opened up their arms and took me in, gave me a platform and supported me. In America we soon forget the

The American July 2015 Issue 745  

The leading cross-media publication for Americans in the UK - and anyone interested in American culture

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