Soul icon Candi Staton revealed Monday (Oct. 29) that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I‘ve been diagnosed with breast cancer,” Staton says in an emailed statement. “After all I’ve gone through in my life — the domestic abuse, the bad relationships, alcoholism, fighting with record labels for royalties and all of that stuff — it’s the last thing I ever expected to go through, but I’m going through it and I plan to beat it.”
While the 78-year-old singer’s diagnosis came on the first day of rehearsals this past summer for her upcoming Unstoppable Tour, Staton revealed the difficulty in dealing with the news. “I decided to keep it to myself and do some soul searching, I went through all of the emotions: denial, ‘poor me’ and anger. It really helped me to be on the road, doing something I love to do, and was born to do.”
She has also encouraged women of all ages to get tested as early as possible. “Cancer can happen to anyone. I found a lump through self-check, so I really encourage women — including elderly women — to get a regular mammogram,” she says. “Don’t let the fact that you are young or that you’ve lived a certain length of time without getting it fool you in to thinking you’re immune to it. Have yourself checked because it can happen at any age.”
The soul singer will begin her 12-week chemotherapy treatment on Tuesday and plans to continue working on her music.