Born March 13, 1940, in Hanceville, AL, Candi Stanton sang with the Jewell Gospel Trio as a teenager. They toured the traditional gospel circuit in the 1950s with the Soul Stirrers, C.L. Franklin, and Mahalia Jackson. They recorded several sides for Nashboro, Apollo, and Savoy Records between 1953 and 1963. In 1968 Staton launched solo career as a Southern soul stylist, garnering 16 R&B hits for Rick Hall's legendary Fame Studios and gaining the title of First Lady of Southern Soul for her Grammy-nominated R&B renditions of the country tunes "Stand by Your Man" and "In the Ghetto." In 1975 Staton saw Southern soul falling out of fashion and began collaborating with producer Dave Crawford, who propelled her into a disco diva with dance songs such as "Young Hearts Run Free" and "Victim.