Sharon Jones: Soul singer dies age 60

The singer was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013 yet performed as recently as this summer

Olivia Blair@livblair
Saturday 19 November 2016 15:20
Sharon Jones performing
Sharon Jones performing

The soul singer Sharon Jones has died at the age of 60.

A statement on her website said she passed away in a New York hospital on Friday after a “heroic battle against pancreatic cancer”.

She was surrounded by her friends and family including members of her band The Dap-Kings.

Jones was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013 but returned to the stage in 2015 when her cancer went into remission. She toured with the group as recently as this summer while undergoing chemotherapy.

The lead singer of Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, she rose to prominence fairly late in her life not releasing her first album until she was in her forties.

Her album Give the People What They Want was nominated for a Grammy award in 2015 but she lost out to Toni Braxton.

The producer Mark Ronson, who featured the Dap-Kings on Amy Winehouse’s critically acclaimed album Back to Black, paid tribute to the singer saying she had “one of the most magnificent, gut-wrenching voices of anyone in recent times”.

Chaka Khan, Hayley Williams, John Legend and St Vincent were among the other artists to pay tribute to the singer.

Born in Georgia, as the youngest of six children. She and her family moved to New York City when she was a child where she sang gospel at church. After singing for a number of bands as she grew up while also working as a corrections officer and security guard at a bank, Jones eventually formed the Dap-Kings and launched the independent record label Daptone Records.

Frequently dubbed the “female James Brown" for her soulful voice, a documentary about her career and cancer illness called Miss Sharon Jones! featured at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and was released earlier this year.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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