Sharon Jones, the lead singer for the Dap-Kings, passed today at age 60 after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Jones was unique for starting her career at a time when the music industry put artists in a graveyard for their age, and then later being recognized by that same industry. She started singing professionally in the ‘70’s with various R&B bands she created but her breakthrough did not happen until 2002. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings immediately hit the radar with their debut album, Dap Dippin’ With Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Jones’s James Brown-inspired stage presence brought the energy of the '60’s into the 2000’s as a leader of a throwback soul movement. They recorded seven albums and received a Grammy nomination in the R&B Album Of The Year category for Give The People What They Want. Their music has been heard in several films and Jones had a cameo in The Great Debaters as a juke joint singer. In 2015, the documentary Miss Sharon Jones! debuted at the Toronto Film Festival.
The first time I saw Miss Sharon Jones! live, the Dap-Kings were just starting to make a name for themselves. I bought tickets for myself and a couple of friends, and we went to the show not really knowing what to expect. When the band announced Miss Sharon Jones!, out strode the boldest, sassiest, brassiest, sexiest woman ever to take a stage (when reading that last bit, my voice dropped a full two octaves below its natural register), who then put on the greatest show we had ever seen. Before the concert was over, I found out where they were playing the very next day, and took two new friends to that show, because the greatest experiences in life are shared experiences. So, if you don’t know anything about who Sharon Jones was, go check her out. And if you like what you hear, pass it on.
Sharon Jones, Soul and Funk Singer With Dap-Kings, Dead at 60
Sharon Jones, the fiery soul singer who spent decades in obscurity before becoming a Grammy-nominated soul and funk vocalist with her longtime backing band the Dap-Kings, died on Friday of pancreatic cancer. She was 60. (more)
RIP Sharon Jones. The singer passed away today after a battle with pancreatic cancer. We were privileged to have her and The Dap-Kings twice in LA and once in San Francisco. She had an incredible voice and a shining spirit and she will be deeply missed.
VOTD: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - ‘Stranger To My Happiness’
If you need an inspiring start to 2014, look no further than the Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings video for “Stranger to My Happiness”, an unbelievably upbeat and funky Stax throwback. Don’t you think for a second that Jones would let bile duct cancer beat her in any way – the song is a triumphant return from such a daunting foe. The video has Jones and the Kings singing of relationship baggage at the remains of a wedding reception (they also help themselves to some leftover cake… can’t blame ‘em). Let this song serve as a lesson about overcoming adversity, because hot damn, is it great to see these folks back on a stage.