May 4, 1956 – November 18, 2016
Born in North Augusta, South Carolina, but raised in New York City, Sharon Jones was a soul singer whose talent was out-shined only by her performances in front of a crowd. As a child, Jones often mimicked one of her idols, James Brown, and as an adult, it often appeared she was raising his spirit to join her on stage. During her early years as a performer, Jones sang in gospel and funk groups and while entering talent contests around New York City. In 2002, Jones released the inaugural album on the Daptone Records, Dap-Dipping with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, with the label’s house band, the Dap-Kings now in place as her permanent back up. Over the better part the next 14 years, Jones played in front of ecstatic crowds around the world, and released five more albums that many credit as having launched the current soul and funk revival. In June of 2013, it was announced that she was suffering from bile duct cancer which was later re-diagnosed as stage II pancreatic cancer. It hardly slowed Jones down however, she released what would become her two final albums, and performed to adoring fans at times, bald from her chemotherapy. In 2015, the documentary, Miss Sharon Jones! was released to critical acclaim. It was at one of the initial screenings, that Jones announced that the cancer had returned. It ultimately took her life. Sharon Jones was 60 when she passed away on November 18, 2016.