Funk and soul singer Sharon Jones of the Dap-Kings died at the age of 60 on Friday, November 18 after a long struggle with cancer.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer,” her rep said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings.”
The statement went on to thank fans for their prayers and well wishes, and in lieu of flowers asked for donations to cancer charities and a music education program.
The singer, who was the subject of last candid year’s documentary Miss Sharon Jones!, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013, but later went into remission. However, the cancer returned last year, and spread to her lungs, liver and lymph nodes.
Jones worked as a backup singer and spent years toiling in obscurity, even working as a prison guard, before breaking out and becoming a star thanks to her powerful voice and commanding stage presence.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings were nominated for a Grammy for best R&B album in 2014 for their sixth album, Give the People What They Want.