Sharon Jones, the singer famed for her role in the soul revival movement with her band the Dap- Kings, has died after aged 60 after losing a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jones passed away on Friday (18 November) in a New York hospital surrounded by her family, friends and bandmates, her representative said in a statement.
Originally diagnosed with cancer in 2013, Jones underwent surgery and treatment as part of a remarkable recovery that saw her back touring with the band by the end of that year. However, the cancer returned for a second, fatal, time in 2015.
Born in North Augusta, South Carolina in 1956, Jones spent much of her childhood in New York – growing up in Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn. Her route to musical stardom was far from immediate, coming only after decades of singing in gospel bands and working numerous jobs, including as a correctional officer at Rikers Island jail.
A chance meeting with Gabriel Roth at a recording session, who would later become the Dap Kings' bassist and Daptone Records co-founder, led to the formation of the band with Jones its focus. The funk and soul group finally released their debut Dap Dippin' in 2002, when Jones was 46.
Six more albums followed, including the Grammy-nominated Give the People What They Want in 2014, released as Jones fought against her first bout of cancer.
Figures from across the world of music have been quick to pay tribute to the powerful singer, with Mark Ronson describing her voice as one of the most "magnificent" and "gut-wrenching of anyone in recent times." Pop singer St. Vincent tweeted "Thank you for everything", while John Legend expressed sadness at the loss of a singer he "loved performing with". Chaka Khan concluded "she was the real deal in this industry. 2016 you've been awful".
Jones had starred in the recent documentary, Miss Sharon Jones!, exploring her first battle with cancer and her relationship with the Dap-Kings.
Speaking of her cancer fight in June 2016, Jones told Associated Press: "I know I need rest and sleep. But I want to work and that is our job.
"You got to be brave. I want to use the time that I have. I don't want to spend it all laid up, wishing I had done that gig."