Super Soul Sister, Sharon Jones Remembered Lovingly By Fans, Friends, and Family

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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Image: Kallerna
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings performing at a Jazz festival in 2010. Image: Kallerna

Measuring at just about 5 feet tall, Sharon Jones was no ordinary giant.

Sharon Jones was born in Augusta, Georgia, USA, the same city as one of her musical idols, James Brown. However, at a young age, Jones and her family moved to New York City. Growing up in Brooklyn, Jones developed her love of singing while performing in her church’s gospel choir.

A major talent scout heard her sing, gave her an enormous contract, and her career took off.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth…

While Jones had several opportunities to sing as a back-up singer on a few recordings here and there, most of her time was not spent playing music. To make a living, Jones worked for several years as a corrections officer in a New York City prison and as an armoured truck guard. This was certainly not the typical path to stardom.

In fact, it wasn’t until 1996, when she met musicians Gabriel Roth and Philip Lehman, that her career truly began to pick up momentum, spearheading what music historians now call the Soul music revival.

A passionate performer, Jones played countless shows each year, all over the world, with jaw-dropping energy and talent. Confident in her abilities but always humble to her fans, Jones routinely ended her shows by joining the crowd, signing autographs, taking photos, and connecting to her fans.

Even when diagnosed with cancer in 2013, Jones continued to perform and make records. She explained in an interview, “When I walk out (onstage), whatever pain is gone. You forget about everything. There is no cancer. There is no sickness. You’re just floating, looking in their faces, and hearing them scream. That’s all that it is to me.”

In her too short career, Sharon Jones recorded five indelible albums, “Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings,” “Naturally,” “100 Days, 100 Nights,” and “I Learned the Hard Way,” and “Give The People What They Want.”

On Friday, November 18, Sharon Jones passed away surrounded by friends and family.
She was 60 years old.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Sharon Jones was resilient in her life, whether it was in her desire to become a professional musician or in her battle with cancer. Think of a time where you showed great resiliency. Where did you find your strength to continue?

Reading Prompt: Analysing Texts
Last week, TKN reported the passing of music icon, Leonard Cohen. Compare today’s article with last week’s article and record the similarities and differences in a T chart. Consider comparing not only the content (what is said), but the style (how it is said) as well.

Junior
Analyse texts and explain how various elements in them contribute to meaning (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Intermediate
Analyse a variety of texts, both simple and complex, and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning and influence the reader’s reaction (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Language Feature: Literary Expectations
When reading a news article, the reader has certain expectations, including the removal of bias, and to deliver truthful content. However, today’s article includes a sentence that is intentionally false, “A major talent scout heard her sing, gave her an enormous contract, and her career took off.”

In the following line, he writes, “Actually, nothing could be further from the truth…”

Why might the author have chosen to take his reader on this detour?
What is the impact of this technique?