Wednesday, April 17, 2024

RIP: The Great Sharon Jones, Late Blooming R&B Star, Dies at 60 from Pancreatic Cancer


Heartbreaking: Sharon Jones, the late blooming R&B star who could literally turn the world on with her smile, has died at age 60 from pancreatic cancer.

Sharon was a cherub, and a throwback as a singer. She should have either been 10 years older, or had her hits 20 years earlier. You pick.

I first saw her and her back up group The Dap Kings at Harvey Weinstein’s wedding to Georgina Chapman in December 2007. All of a sudden, at age 51, a star was born. Where had she been? Who was she? There were so many questions. (She was already five years into a late-blooming career.)

Sharon and the Dap Kings became overnight sensations in the next year. She already had an album out called “Naturally.” But her 2007 release, “100 Days, 100 Nights” and its title track took off like rockets. In 2010, Sharon released “I Learned the Hard Way,” re-confirming her new star status. But then the cancer came, and there was a long break.

Finally in 2014 she released “Give the People What they Want.” Oscar winner Barbara Kopple filmed her for a documentary, “Miss Sharon Jones!” which was nominated for the Critics Choice Award and is eligible for this year’s Oscars. The film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, where Jones revealed her cancer had worsened.

I wrote about Sharon when she performed on December 30, 2010. We hung out after the show. She was a special, special person. What was she doing here for such a short, crazy time? She was lighting up our lives. In heaven today, the whole R&B world no doubt met her with cheers as big as our tears. We will never forget you, Sharon.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News