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Mavis Staples Books Newport Folk Festival Gig For July

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MAVIS STAPLES
PORTLAND, OR - JULY 07: Mavis Staples performs on stage on Day 4 of Waterfront Blues Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on July 7, 2013 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns via Getty Images) | Anthony Pidgeon via Getty Images

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The Newport Folk Festival says gospel singer Mavis Staples will perform in this year's line-up.

Staples is the first act to be announced for the 2014 festival, which will be held from July 25 to July 27. The festival says special guests will honor her birthday and "75 Years of Mavis" throughout the weekend.

Founder George Wein (WEEN') says Monday it's a joy to honor Staples. He says her family's band, The Staple Singers, was one of the first gospel groups to play at Newport and that they have appeared at both the folk and jazz festivals over the years.

The festival was first held in 1959 and has featured influential musicians like Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Johnny Cash.

Other musical acts will be announced later.

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