One more legend has been snatched away from us by the cruel hands of time. Sharon Jones, soul and funk singer of the Dap-Kings, has died at the age of 60, her family confirms. Jones lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Friday.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer,” the singer’s rep wrote in a statement. “She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings.”
According to Rolling Stone, “Doctors diagnosed Jones with stage two pancreatic cancer in 2013 and removed the singer’s gallbladder, the head of her pancreas and 18 inches of her small intestine. She went into remission nine months later, but announced that the cancer had returned at the premiere of Miss Sharon Jones!, a documentary detailing Jones’ life and career. The cancer would be elevated to stage four, with tumors spreading to her lung, liver and lymph nodes.”
Jones, who was born in Augusta, Georgia in 1956, recorded six albums with the Dap-Kings, and thrilled crowds with her exhilarating live shows. But breaking into the industry wasn’t easy for Jones, who says in the documentary that a producer told her in the 1990s that she was “too fat, too black, too short and too old” for success in music. The rejection caused her to stop pursuing her career for years, and she worked a series of odd jobs, including a corrections officer at Rikers Island. It wasn’t until she was 40 years old that released her first song as a front woman, “Damn It’s Hot.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Rest in power, Miss Jones.