Sharon Jones
11.19.2016

Soul Singer Sharon Jones Dead at 60

Grammy-nominated soul and funk singer Sharon Jones, beloved for her work with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, passed away on Friday (Nov. 18) after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 60.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer,” her rep said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings.”

Jones earned her first Grammy nomination in 2013 when Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ album Give the People What They Want was up for Best R&B Album. That same year, she was diagnosed with cancer. “I just started crying,” Jones told Rolling Stone in July. “All kinds of thoughts went through my head because I figured that I was going to die.”

Instead, Jones fought cancer for years, vowing not to let it control her life. “I have cancer; cancer don’t have me,” she explained. “I’m gonna keep on going. I’m gonna take this medicine, and it’ll be alright.”

Jones’ work has impacted art by others, as well. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ “The Dap Dip,” for instance, was sampled on Rhymefest and Kanye West’s “Brand New” and on an Earl Sweatshirt song of the same name.

Fans and fellow stars are mourning as news of Jones’ passing has surfaced. “So sad to hear about the passing of my friend and the soulful, dynamic singer I loved performing with, Sharon Jones,” tweeted John Legend.

“My deepest condolences 2 the family of @sharonjones,” added Chaka Khan. “She was the real deal in this industry. 2016 you’ve been awful.”

This wasn’t exclusive to a genre as artists and celebrities from various walks mourned the singer, including actress Whoopi Goldberg, rappers/producers El-P and Evidence, R&B star Keith Sweat, producer Mark Ronson, and Paramore’s Hayley Williams.