Three years before Austin-based blues singer Nakia competed on the first season of The Voice, a chance encounter with the legendary Sharon Jones, when she pulled him up onstage at the Austin City Limits festival, changed his life and led to a long friendship. In this personal essay, he writes fondly of his time with Jones, who tragically lost her battle with pancreatic cancer last Friday, Nov. 18.
Sharon Jones performs at DTE Energy Music Theater on July 18, 2016 in Clarkston, Michigan. There is a scene towards the end of the Sharon Jones documentary, Miss Sharon Jones!, that tells you all you need to know about the singer and the power of soul music. Returning to stage for the first time after ending a punishing year of surgery and chemotherapy to stave off pancreatic cancer, Jones’s legs are weaker than usual and she battles her “chemo brain” — the side effects of memory loss.