Soul music has lost a bit of the spark that fires it with the passing of Sharon Jones.
Jones, who publicly fought pancreatic cancer since her diagnosis in 2013, lost her battle to the disease on November 18. She was 60 years old.
It was reported that Jones was surrounded not only by loved ones, but also her musical family — The Dap Kings — a farewell befitting a queen who reigned as the modern soul and funk ringleader that helped steer the Daptone Records label to its current heights.
Onstage Jones was a fireball, mixing equal parts Vegas showgirl moves with gritty, soulful laments that dug deep into the brownstone foundations of her Bed-Stuy upbringing and years working as a corrections officer at Rikers Island. Laying your eyes on her, you were assured that not only should you not mess with this woman, but that she was a truth teller, a singer with a soulful voice that can only be birthed from experience.
Jones never shied away from her upbringing, her experiences as a woman, or her illness. The documentary Miss Sharon Jones! highlighted how her strength carried her through every peak and valley.
Sharon Jones taught us that with adversity comes regal acceptance, and that the love of music can deliver the purest soul of all.
Goodbye, Miss Sharon — you will be greatly missed.