Credit: Chris StrongMavis!, a new documentary about gospel/soul great Mavis Staples, will premiere on HBO on February 29. The film, directed by Jessica Edwards, takes the look at the acclaimed vocalist’s career, both with her famous family group The Staple Singers and as a solo artist.

The Staple Singers began releasing a series of popular gospel records in the 1950s and took part in historic civil-rights protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the ’60s before going on to release pop and soul hits like “I’ll Take You There” and “Let’s Do It Again” in the ’70s. Mavis started recording as a solo artist while The Staple Singers were still active, and began focusing on her solo career after the 2000 death of family patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples.

The documentary features interviews with such musical friends and collaborators as Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, late Band drummer Levon Helm and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, who produced two of Mavis’ most recent albums — 2010’s You Are Not Alone and 2013’s One True Vine. The movie also includes various live performances and rare archival footage.

In other news, Staples will release a new album titled Livin’ on a High Note on February 19. The record was produced by M. Ward of the indie-pop duo She and Him, and features songs written for Mavis by an eclectic variety of artists, including Ben Harper, Aloe Blacc, Nick Cave, Neko Case, Tune-Yards and Ward. One of the new tracks, “High Note,” is streaming now at

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Mavis! – Documentary Trailer from Film First on Vimeo.