The cruel mistress that is the year of our Lord 2016 claimed another victim last night: Sharon Jones, the soulful vocalist of the Dap-Kings. She was 60 years old.
The Grammy-nominated singer was noted for her powerful voice and explosive live performances at Dap-Kings concerts, which Rolling Stone described as "equal parts Baptist church revival, Saturday night juke joint and raucous 1970s Las Vegas revue." At 60 years old and after battling cancer into remission, Jones continued to perform, dancing on stage with surprising vigor.
Success in the music industry eluded Jones until late in life. Although she started a number of funk groups in the 1970s, she also worked a number of odd jobs, working as a Rikers Island corrections officer and armored car security guard until she joined the Dap-Kings in 1996, at age 40. They recorded their debut album, Dap Dappin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings in 2002.
The band went on to record five more albums. Their 2014 release, Give the People What They Want, received a nomination for Best R&B Album at the 57th annual Grammy Awards.
Jones was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 but kept performing when she was able. "When I walk out [onstage], whatever pain is gone," Jones said. "You forget about everything. There is no cancer. There is no sickness. You're just floating, looking in their faces and hearing them scream. That's all that is to me."
The Dap-Kings released a statement on their website at the time of her passing:
We are deeply saddened to announce Sharon Jones passed away today after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.
Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Pamela Anderson’s Makeup-Free Streak Continues, From Paris to London
Anderson ditched a glam squad for the 2023 Fashion Awards last night.
By Rachel Burchfield
Amal Clooney Goes Two-for-Two This Week, This Time in Glitterball Gold and Bronze
In black the night prior, Clooney shone—literally—in Atelier Versace.
By Rachel Burchfield
Richa Moorjani Is 'Fargo' Season 5’s Moral Center—But She Almost Didn’t Let It Happen
The actress opens up about how imposter syndrome made her believe that she didn’t belong in the ‘Fargo’ universe.
By Quinci LeGardye
Sarah Hyland and Adam Devine Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'
The 'Modern Family' stars reunited for the 'Pitch Perfect' spinoff series.
By Brooke Knappenberger
The 78 Best Celebrity Couple Halloween Costumes of All Time
Honestly, we're impressed.
By Charlotte Chilton
Super Rare Photos of Queen Elizabeth as a Young Woman
From childhood snapshots to portraits as a young princess, beautiful and rare photos of the late Queen Elizabeth as a young woman.
By Mehera Bonner
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla's Relationship: A Timeline
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles has ascended to the throne as king.
By The Editors
Who Is Next in Line for the British Throne, Explained
And yes—Harry and Archie are still in the line of succession.
By Andrea Park
Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Fiancé Riley Roberts?
AOC's husband-to-be is an "easygoing redhead" who lives with her in D.C.
By Katherine J. Igoe
22 Captivating Films About Royal Life
Once you've finished 'The Crown,' cue up one of these royally good films.
By Nicole Briese
68 Times the Kardashians Posed Fully Nude and Owned It
And we mean fully nude—as in, not a shred of clothing.
By Bianca Rodriguez