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A spirit that is not afraid

Candi Staton returns to the stage

<p>Cadi Staton performing at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center on September 18, 2021 in Auburn, Ala.</p>

Cadi Staton performing at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center on September 18, 2021 in Auburn, Ala.

Candi Staton’s first performance in the past two years was held at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University on Sept. 18 at 4 p.m.

The afternoon before the show, Staton opened up the stage with a soundcheck, welcoming those present saying, "Good to be back in my home Alabama," after she had asked the crowd how they were doing.

As we moved into the Q&A portion, Staton said she writes from her experiences, even if they involve deep wounds, because she knows that there are people in the world who have similar stories of hardship. 

“I am a soul music singer and it’s my real emotions," Staton said. "So the things that I have gone through shaped my style.” 

When she sings about those things it not only touches her but also her audience who is listening and watching, she said.

The song “Young Hearts Run Free” is one of Staton’s many hits. Her friend David Crawford wrote this song for Staton to sing. It serves as an example of how her music is written with her life and hard times in mind. 

Staton said when she was telling Crawford about a particularly troublesome marriage and hard time in her life, he was furiously writing as he listened. Later, he presented this song to her. 

When she went to practice this piece for the first time in the studio, Staton said she was given a piece of paper and told to sing. 

“I was reading from a piece of paper but I put everything I had in that song when the lyrics popped out at me," Staton said. "It felt like I had been singing that song for years.”

Once she finished the song, Crawford from the control room said, “We got what we want.” Staton insisted that she had just been practicing, but Crawford said what she had just sung was not practice but real. 

Staton said it seemed she had put her all into this song the first time. From there, they did not even need to record it again. Soon, “Young Hearts Run Free” was released for the world to enjoy. 

Throughout her soundcheck and into the Q&A, Staton continued to keep the flow of interaction with both her band as well as those out in the crowd professional but also personal. 

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