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Soul Singer Sharon Jones Dead at 60

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Timothy Hiatt/WireImage
Timothy Hiatt/WireImage

Sharon Jones, the American soul and funk lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, died on Friday at the age of 60 after her long-fought battle with cancer.

A statement released by the music group on Facebook announced her death, saying “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.”

The group 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.

Her representative Judy Miller Silverman released a statement saying Jones died at a Cooperstown hospital, according to the Associated Press.

Jones, who was nominated for her first Grammy in 2014 for Give the People What They Want, was hospitalized in early November in New York City, according to News 12 NBC 26, a local station in Georgia.

 

The singer, who achieved her breakthrough when she was 40-years-old, had been battling cancer for a few years but remained busy. She toured during the summer with Hall and Oates and starred in the documentary Miss Sharon Jones!, which debuted at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

She revealed her diagnosis of stage-one bile duct cancer in 2013, and was forced to cancel promotional duties for an album that was preparing for release that August.


“We caught it really early and fast and the doctors say it’s operable and curable,” she wrote on her website at the time. “I will be having surgery very soon and will have to rest and recover.”

After news of her death broke, singers, musicians and others took to Twitter to express their grief and condolences, such as Whoopi Goldberg.

Music producer and DJ Questlove followed suit on Instagram, writing a simple “Thank you” to the singer.

Thank You Sharon. Thank You. #2016

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

Others such as Dave Depper, who is guitarist for Death Cab for Cutie, also took to Twitter, calling her “shining sister.”

Jones worked briefly as a corrections officer on Rikers Island before rising to prominence with the release of 2002’s Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Her electrifying soul and funk-stepped vocal style led to her collaborations with Michael Bublé, Lou Reed and others.