Mavis Staples ‘Dodged a Bullet’ by Not Marrying Bob Dylan

‘I still have letters that we would write to each other,’ Staples reflected earlier this year about her relationship with Dylan.

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Mavis Staples claims she got lucky by not marrying Bob Dylan — who is worth $500 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Wait … what? How come? Why? Huh?

Mavis Staples’ Incomparable Career

Mavis Staples is one of the unsung legends, so to speak, of modern pop music.

The R&B singer and civil rights activist is the last surviving member of the Staple Singers. In the 1970s, the family ensemble churned out hit songs including “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There.”

They covered Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” as well.

Also notable: Many consider the Staple Singers to be the spiritual and musical voices of the civil rights movement.

Mavis Staples later went solo, although she didn’t release any albums from 1997 to 2003. In the latter year, however, Staples and Dylan earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for their collaborative song “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking.”

In December 2008, Mavis Staples revealed on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! that she and Dylan “were good friends, yes indeed.” They toured together after the release of her 16th album, If All I Was Was Black in November 2017.

Mavis Staples finally began getting more attention later in her career. She has three Grammy Awards and Kennedy Center Honors and is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Bob Dylan‘s Never-Ending List of Accomplishments

Meanwhile, Bob Dylan’s achievements cannot be summed up; there are simply too many.

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota. Dropping out of the University of Minnesota at the end of his first year, Dylan traveled to New York City in 1960 to perform at clubs like The Gaslight.

Dylan released his debut album, a folk-heavy, self-titled record, in 1962. But his breakthrough the following year with The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. His famous songs “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin’ ” (1964) served became natural symbols for the passionate civil rights and anti-war movements.

Though he resists the title, by 1965 and 1966, Dylan was considered the “spokesman of a generation.” By that time, his sound was infused with more rock-inspired instrumentals. Soon, Dylan would record three of the most important, influential rock albums of the all-time — in a mere matter of fifteen months: Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965), and Blonde on Blonde (1966).

In July 1966, Dylan quit touring after a severe motorcycle accident — but that didn’t stop him from making music. He continued to record with The Band, a Canadian-American rock group that included Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson, and Levon Helm. They recorded The Basement Tapes in 1975.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dylan started to record more country music: John Wesley Harding (1967), Nashville Skyline (1969), and New Morning (1970). In the late 1970s, Dylan became a born-again Christian, releasing a series of gospel albums.

After returning to rock, the most noted of Dylan’s later works include Time Out of Mind (1997), Love and Theft (2001), Modern Times (2006), and Tempest (2012). In 2020, Dylan released his longest-ever song, a nearly 17-minute rumination on the death of JFK: “A Murder Most Foul.”

Mavis Staples and Bob Dylan’s Time Together

In addition to touring and recording together, Mavis Staples revealed on the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! program that Bob Dylan had asked her father for her hand in marriage.

She expanded on the matter in an interview with The New Yorker published in July 2022.

“He was a cute little boy, little blue eyes, curly hair,” Staples lovingly reflected. “He and [her father] got to be tight. They’d sit out on the stoop, drink wine.”

She added: “I still have letters that we would write to each other,” she said. “And the only time we would see each other was when we happened to be on the same show … I was the one that dodged a bullet. I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with him.”

READ MORE: “Mavis Staples and Bob Dylan, Violent Femmes and more hit the stage this weekend

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