Sharon Jones, the Grammy-nominated soul singer whose career was resurrected by the Daptone label, passed away on Friday at the age of 60 after succumbing pancreatic cancer which she had battled for years.
A note on Jones’ website said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones including the Dap Kings. Thank you for your your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.”
Publicist Judy Miller Silverman said that Jones died at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Jones had toured Australia on numerous occasions and also appeared with Lou Reed when he performed the Berlin album at the Sydney Festival.
Jones was discovered in 1996 by Gabriel Roth (aka songwriter Bosco Mann), one of the founders of the Brooklyn-based Daptone Records and a member of the Dap-Kings who backed Jones.
Jones had tried decades earlier to get a start in the music business, but was rejected by record labels because they said she did not have the looks to be a star. Here history was outlined in the 2015 documentary Miss Sharon Jones!
Sharon Lafaye Jones was born on May 4, 1956, in Augusta, Ga., the youngest of 6 children (of whom foiru survive her). She spent her childhood in North Augusta, S.C. and in 1960, moved with her family to Brooklyn, singing gospel in church. In the 1970s Jones sang with various funk and wedding bands, sang backup at recording sessions. She worked as a prison guard at Rikers Island in the late 1980s and as an armed security guard for Wells Fargo.
Daptone’s Gabriel Roth heard Jones at a 1996 session backing the soul singer Lee Fields, which led to her debut 2002 album Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, also the Daptone label’s first album.From then on Jones was at the forefront of the soul revival, releasing another three albums.
In 2013, as Jones was about to release the album Give the People What They Want, she was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer and the album was postponed for a year while Ms. Jones underwent surgery and chemotherapy. Jones returned to Australia after she recovered.