Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sharon Jones Soul and Funk Singer Dies at 60

Sharon Jones, the soul and funk singer who fronted Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, died Friday, November 18, 2016, after a battle with pancreatic cancer, according to multiple news sources. Jones released her first of six albums with The Dap-Kings, “Dip Dappin’ with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings,” in 2002. Her 2014 album “Give the People What They Want,” was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Album.
Her live shows were known for her high energy, and were described as “equal parts Baptist church revival, Saturday night juke joint and raucous 1970s Las Vegas revue,” by Rolling Stone magazine. 
In 2013 she was diagnosed with cancer. Her struggle with the disease and treatment was captured in the 2015 documentary “Miss Sharon Jones!” After remission she returned to live performance in 2015. However, while at the Toronto International Film Festival that year she announced that her cancer had returned and that she would undergo chemotherapy. Despite these setbacks she released the single “I’m Still Here” and toured in the summer of 2016 while still receiving treatment.
That indefatigable spirit was shaped by a lifetime of struggle. Born May 4, 1956 in Augusta, Georgia, Jones was the youngest of six children. Her family moved to New York and she was raised in Brooklyn where she began to show an interest in music, imitating James Brown and singing in church choirs.
Her passion for funk and soul music didn’t fit with current trends in popular music and she was unable to get her music career off the ground. She worked as a corrections officer at Riker’s Island and as a bank security guard while still singing weddings and back-up for other musicians.
During a recording session in 1996 she caught the attention of producers Gabriel Roth and Philip Lehman who helped form The Dap-Kings band and Daptone record label, giving a vehicle for their new-found star. Her talent and hard work did the rest.

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