Sharon Jones Was Surrounded By Her Band During Final Days

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On Friday the world learned of the death of Sharon Jones, a remarkable vocalist best known for the six albums she put out since 2002 backed by The Dap-Kings. Daptone Records co-founder and Dap-Kings bassist and band leader Gabriel Roth shed light on Jones’ final days in a new interview with the L.A. Times including word Sharon went out singing and was surrounded by her band mates.

Sharon Jones suffered a stroke while watching the election returns according to Roth. She was hospitalized in Cooperstown and Roth said Sharon blamed the stroke on the election of President-Elect Trump, “I flew out and met her up in the hospital in Cooperstown, and I saw her and she told the people that were there that Trump gave her the stroke. She was blaming Trump for the whole thing.” Jones had another stroke the next day which left her unable to communicate for the most part. Roth reached out to members of the Dap-Kings who soon arrived at the hospital.

Gabriel Roth described the scene at the hospital as Sharon Jones was surrounded by the Dap-Kings:

Binky [Griptite, a Dap-Kings member] started to play the guitar and she started humming along. It was kind of remarkable. She was just moaning at first, and then she was moaning in tune and then she started following chord changes and pretty soon she was humming “His Eye on the Sparrow” with him.

We all just kept playing and singing with her, and little by little over the next couple of days she actually started moving her mouth and started singing lyrics. She just wanted to sing these gospel songs.

Every time we’d stop, she’d just keep singing — “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” “This Little Light of Mine.” We just stayed with her and sang with her and played music with her.

While Sharon couldn’t talk, she kept singing until the end. “That was really beautiful, really beautiful, and I’m really glad that the band had a chance to spend that last musical moment with her and sing with her,” said Roth. Sharon Jones was 60-years-old. Head to the L.A. Times for more from Gabriel Roth on Sharon Jones’ final days.