Jones released her first album, “Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings”, in 2002. 4 more albums of original music followed, most recently “Give the People What They Want”, nominated in 2014 for Best R&B album. Each notable for further developing her authentic, 70s-focused style, the recordings cemented Jones and the Dap-Kings’ reputation as leaders of the classic funk and soul revival movement.
Jones and the Dap-Kings were musicians-musicians, frequently cited by more famous artists as a favorite and often working alongside them, among them Lou Reed, and David Byrne & Fatboy Slim.
Though Jones never pursued an acting career, she had two notable roles. In 2007 she portrayed a juke joint singer in the Denzel Washington Film The Great Debaters, and in 2016 she and the Dap-Kings, in one of the show’s best moments, were featured performing in the Harlem night club owned by Cottonmouth in Luke Cage. Their song “100 Days, 100 Nights” was also featured in the final scenes of the season.
Jones was diagnosed in 2013 with bile duct cancer, a diagnosis that was later changed to stage 2 pancreatic cancer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and managed to recover for a time, but at the premiere of Miss Sharon Jones at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, she announced that her cancer had returned. She continued to work for a time even after restarting chemotherapy.
In lieu of flowers, Jones’ survivors have requested donations be made to Cure Pancreatic Cancer – The Lustgarten Foundation, James Brown Family Foundation, and Little Kids Rock