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Sharon Jones, soul and blues singer, dies at 60

November 19, 2016 at 5:54 PM EST
Sharon Jones, a powerful soul and blues singer who achieved mid-life fame as lead singer for the Dap-Kings and who returned to touring this year after fighting cancer, has died. The NewsHour’s Christopher Booker reports.
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Sharon Jones, a powerful soul and blues singer who achieved fame in midlife and returned to touring this year after fighting cancer, has died. NewsHour Weekend’s Christopher Booker has more.

SHARON JONES:  I been late. Alone for hours.

CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Out in front was her voice — a master class in soul, rhythm and blues, and funk. Born in Georgia, raised in Brooklyn and the Baptist church, she was part Aretha Franklin, part James Brown, and all Sharon Jones.

SHARON JONES: I never took vocal lessons, just practicing, just building up my lungs to be a singer.

CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: But it was a voice — if not for her will and determination — that was nearly overlooked. Jones sang in wedding bands but spent years making a living as an armored guard for Wells Fargo and a corrections officer at Rikers Island. But in 1996, at the age of 40, she met a bass player named Gabe Roth, who was forming a new record label Daptone.

After that meeting, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings recorded six albums — celebrating and re-inventing a sound thought lost to the digital world. She received Grammy nomination and influenced singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele. In 2013, she began her fight against pancreatic cancer, and resumed performing the following year after receiving treatment.

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