Music News: 11.21.16

Remembering Sharon Jones

Fiery soul-singer Sharon Jones passed away Friday night after a 3-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed in 2013, Jones underwent major surgery to have her gallbladder and parts of her small intestine and pancreas removed and went into remission none months later. The singer announced that her cancer had returned in full-force at the premiere of Miss Sharon Jones!, the documentary detailing Jones’s life and polarizing career from long-time obscurity to Grammy nominee. Sharon Lafaye Jones was born the youngest of six on May 4th, 1956 in Augusta, GA. Finding an early love for the stage, Sharon began singing in church choirs after her mother moved the family to Brooklyn. Jones started a number of funk groups throughout the 1970s while also earning extra cash singing gospel music and performing in wedding bands. Despite her undeniable talent and on-stage energy, Jones had an exceedingly difficult time breaking into the industry, who simply saw her as a “short, black woman”; an ugly notion that the singer couldn’t help but start to see in and feel about herself. After taking some years away from music, including a 2-year stint as a corrections officer at Rikers Island, Sharon Jones returned to the industry as a back-up singer for the Dap-Kings, recording numerous tracks as a back-up singer before fronting the group for the first time on the song “Damn It’s Hot!” In 2002, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings released their first of what would be six albums together and was released on what would become Daptone Records. The group’s album Give the People What They Want earned Jones her first Grammy nomination for Best R&B album. The next year, Jones received her diagnosis, and from that moment used the stage as therapy. Throughout her battle; Jones kept to one simple mantra: “I have cancer; cancer don’t have me.” At her death, Sharon Jones was surrounded by her loved ones, including her Dap-Kings. (Rolling Stone)


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