Sharon Jones, lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, has died at the age of 60.
The singer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013 but went into remission nine months later. However, at last year’s premiere of a film about her life, Miss Sharon Jones!, she revealed that the cancer had sadly returned.
Her website was updated last night (November 18) to include the message: “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.”
Jones was born in North Augusta, South Carolina in 1956 but grew up in Brookly, New York. She began entering talent shows and singing with funk bands as a teenager but worked as a prison officer and a bank security guard before making inroads into the music industry relatively late in life.
She released her first single, ‘Damn It’s Hot’, in 1996 at the age of 40. Six years later, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings released their debut album, ‘Dap Dippin’ With Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings’.
Jones and the band built a reputation as an incendiary live act and also recorded prolifically. Their sixth album, ‘Give The People What They Want’, was nominated for a Grammy in 2014.
Chaka Khan, Mark Ronson, John Legend and St Vincent are among those to have paid tribute to Jones since news of her death broke.
Khan hailed her as “the real deal in this industry”, while Ronson said she “had one of the most magnificent, gut-wrenching voices of anyone in recent times”. Read their tweets below.
— ? ????? ???? ? (@ChakaKhan) November 19, 2016
Sharon Jones had one of the most magnificent, gut-wrenching voices of anyone in recent times. She'll be so missed. Too sad x
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) November 19, 2016
So sad to hear about the passing of my friend and the soulful, dynamic singer I loved performing with, Sharon Jones
— John Legend (@johnlegend) November 19, 2016
Sharon Jones. Thank you for everything.
— St. Vincent (@st_vincent) November 19, 2016