Saturday, 19 November 2016

Legendary Soul Singer Sharon Jones dies at 60 after two-year battle with Cancer

Legendary funk and soul singer Sharon Jones dies after a protracted Cancer battle.
She was 60 when she died last Friday after losing to pancreatic cancer, the musician's manager and publicist said.

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings," her management said in an official statement.

According to NBC News, Jones died at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York, where she underwent chemotherapy treatment since doctors diagnosed her with stage two pancreatic cancer in June 2013.

Jones, lead singer for the the Dap-Kings found success late in life, releasing her first album at 40, and became the subject of the documentary "Miss Sharon Jones!" directed by Barbara Kopple. The singer earned her first Grammy nomination in 2014 for best R&B Album for "Give the People What They Want."

She spent years working odd jobs to support her musical career. She finally found fame at the age of 46 with the Dap-Kings 2002 debut album.

Jones was born in August, Georgia, in 1956, the youngest of six children.
She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and sang gospel at church and performed as part of a wedding band.
But for years struggled to make a living in music. To make ends meet, she worked as a corrections officer at the Rikers Island jail complex and was a bank security guard.

In her last single I'm Still Here, she sang about being turned down by music executives because she was 'too short, too fat, too black and too old.'

Her big break finally came when she was hired as the lead singer for the newly formed Dap-Kings who released their first album in 2002. She was 46. 

Three more albums followed in the ensuing decade as well as two compilations.  

In July 2016, Jones in an interview with NPR's Terry Gross described returning to performing after surgery and performing while still undergoing chemotherapy.  

"That's my therapy. Being onstage ... it's like this cancer is here and I have to take the chemo but I want to perform," Jones said. "I don't want to be home just taking medicine and waiting to die, you know? I — that's not something I'm about." 

"I'm going to keep on keeping on as long as I've got my health and strength, and God gives me that will to do it," Jones said at the time.

She'll be greatly missed!

Photo Credit: Getty Image/ Wire Image