Tuesday, November 22, 2016

SHARON JONES (1956 - 2016)


I was very sad to hear that Sharon Jones had lost her battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away on November 18th at the age of 60. This fiery vocal powerhouse lead the band, The Dap-Kings and together were responsible for keeping the spirit of good, old-fashioned soul music alive and well.

Born in Augusta, Georgia but raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jones did not start her music career in a traditional fashion. She sang frequently in church and performed the occasional show but she wasn't able to make a living as a singer. After spending the early part of her life as an armored car guard and a corrections officer at Rikers Island, Jones had a life-altering moment. She met musician Lee Fields in 1996 and invited her to provide background vocals on a track. However she impressed producers and musicians of the backing band, the Soul Providers, Gabriel Roth and Phillip Lehman so much, they had her sing lead on a song. And at the age of forty, Jones became a professional singer. She recorded several singles on Desco Records that were well received.

By 2000, Roth and Lehman decided to split up and Roth went on to form Daptone Records and a new band, the Dap-Kings with Jones as the lead vocalist. The following year, they released "Dap Dippin' With Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings", a collection of retro soul and funk, which helped them gain significant attention and a cult following. Jones and the Dap-Kings would record seven studio albums with "Give The People What They Want" earning the band their first Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album in 2014 and released a Christmas album last year.

Jones was the subject of the documentary, "Miss Sharon Jones!" by Oscar-winning film maker, Barbara Kopple. Originally the goal was to focus on her unlikely career but during filming she received a cancer diagnosis and the doc shifted on her struggle to beat the disease. By the time the film premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, Jones revealed that the cancer had returned and would have to go through chemotherapy again.

Take a look at the amazing Sharon Jones along with the Dap-Kings as they successfully made the world a much funkier place:





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