*It’s a sad day in the music world because Sharon Jones, better known as the lead singer with the Dap-Kings band, has died from cancer. She was 60.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer,” according a post on her website.
Jones’ manager, Alex Kadvan, said she passed away Friday night in Cooperstown, New York.
According to her Wikipedia profile, Jones was born in Augusta, Georgia, the daughter of Ella Mae Price Jones[ and Charlie Jones, living in adjacent North Augusta, South Carolina. Jones was the youngest of six children; her siblings are Dora, Charles, Ike, Willa and Henry. Jones’s mother raised her deceased sister’s four children as well as her own children. She moved the family to New York City when Sharon was a young child. As children, she and her brothers would often imitate the singing and dancing of James Brown. Her mother happened to know Brown, who was also from Augusta.
Jones grew up in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In 1975, she graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn. She attended Brooklyn College.
READ RELATED STORY: SOUL SINGER SHARON JONES DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER
Although she didn’t get much if any play on black radio, Jones was known for her funk-infused soul sound. In fact, Jones experienced breakthrough success relatively late in life, releasing her first record when she was 40 years old. She was also nominated for a Grammy in 2014 for the album “Give the People What They Want.”
Meanwhile, tributes for Jones, who was often called “the female James Brown,” are being shared on social media.
Grammy winning producer, composer and Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers called Jones “incredible and mighty” on Twitter.
Singer Chaka Khan tweeted “She was the real deal in this industry.”
— Chaka Khan (@ChakaKhan) November 19, 2016
Whoopi Goldberg tweeted that Jones and her band “made great music together and she sang her butt off.”
Jones’ struggle to return to the stage after her 2013 cancer diagnosis was the subject of a recent documentary titled “Miss Sharon Jones.”
Jones said in the film that despite her illness “the show must go on.”
Jones’ website said she died surrounded by her loved ones, including her band, the Dap-Kings.