Following a long-fought battle with cancer, Sharon Jones, the American soul and funk lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, has died at the age of 60.
The tragic news was released in a brief statement by the music group via Facebook, on Friday, Nov. 18 reading, “We are deeply saddened to announce Sharon Jones passed away today after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings.”
In 2013, the Grammy-nominated vocalist revealed her diagnosis of stage-one bile duct cancer, forcing her to cancel promotional duties surrounding the release of an upcoming album. In early November of last year, she was hospitalized in New York City, News 12 NBC 26, a local station in Georgia reported at the time.
According to the Associated Press, Sharon’s representative Judy Miller Silverman, released a statement saying the soul singer died at a Cooperstown, New York hospital after battling pancreatic cancer. Loved ones along with members of her band were among those surrounding her.
The youngest of six children, Sharon Lafaye Jones was born on May 4, 1956 in Augusta, Georgia. Her family lived in nearby North Augusta, South Carolina, just across the Savannah River, best known as the birthplace of James Brown. Growing up idolizing the Godfather of Soul, it was no surprise that the dynamic, show-stopping performer would later earn the title of “The Female James Brown.”
Prior to making her mark in the music industry, Jones tried her hand as a corrections officer at Rikers Island. Then, in 2002, she rose to fame with the release of her debut album, Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, an electrifying soul, funk-stepped infused collaboration disc featuring artists like Michael Bublé, Lou Reed and others
In honor of Jones’ legacy, her band mates have asked fans and well-wishers to donate to organizations such as The Lustgarten Foundation, the James Brown Family Foundation or Little Kids Rock, instead of sending flowers.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jones’ loved ones. Share your condolences in the comment section below.