Sharon Jones dies at 60

Sharon Jones at her final Atlanta appearance in May. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Sharon Jones at her final Atlanta appearance in May. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene

Soul dynamo Sharon Jones died on Friday after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 60.

The Augusta-born singer, who ignited every stage her diminutive frame graced, was in Cooperstown, N.Y., and surrounded by loved ones – including her longtime band rthe Dap-Kings – when she passed.

A documentary about the feisty performer called “Miss Sharon Jones!” was released this summer and captured Jones as she underwent treatment for the cancer that gnawed at her since being diagnosed in 2013.

Throughout her career, which included a stint as a corrections officer at Rikers Island and years spent playing weddings, Jones was never a massive household name.

But she and the Dap-Kings regularly packed theaters and clubs around the world and released seven lauded albums, including last year’s “It’s a Holiday Soul Party.”

Her final Atlanta performance was in May, when she and the Dap-Kings opened for Hall & Oates at Lakewood Amphitheatre.

In 2015, Jones and the band received their first-ever Grammy nomination for their powerhouse album, “Give the People What They Want.”

“I thank God that we’re finally being recognized for what we’ve been working so hard for. We’re not going anywhere. I’m not gonna be a pop singer. I’m gonna be who I am,” Jones told that Atlanta Journal-Constitution a few weeks before the ceremony.

They didn’t win (they lost to a Toni Braxton-Babyface collaboration). But Jones still held out hope that the coveted music award might be bestowed on her one day.

In the documentary, she visits the Augusta Museum of History and admires one of James Brown’s Grammys.

“I want to at least have one of these one day,” she says.

Jones’ representatives have requested that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Little Kids Rock, James Brown Family Foundation or The Lustgarten Foundation.

Read and sign the online guestbook for Sharon Jones

 


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