NEWPORT, R.I. (February 3, 2014) The Newport Folk Festival announced Monday that gospel singer Mavis Staples will perform this year.
Staples was the first act to be announced for the 2014 festival 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 said Monday it's a joy to honor Staples.
He said 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 such influential musicians as Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Johnny Cash.
Other acts will be announced later.