Singer Sharon Jones
Singer Sharon Jones arrives at The Friars Club and Friars Foundation in New York June 12, 2012.Reuters

Soul singer Sharon Jones, the front-woman of the Grammy-nominated group Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, breathed her last on Friday. Jones, who was 60, passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The official Facebook page of the singer announced her demise. "We are deeply saddened to announce Sharon Jones passed away today after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time," the post on her Facebook page said.

Born on May 4 1956, in North Augusta, South Carolina, Jones moved to Brooklyn as a child. She worked as a corrections officer and as an armoured car guard for several years. Her life changed in 1996 when she started backing soul musician Lee Fields. After working as a prison guard for many years, Jones found success when she released her first album at the age of 40.

Jones released her first album "Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings", in 2002 and went on to record seven albums with the Dap-Kings. In 2014, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings were nominated for a Grammy for best R&B album for their sixth album "Give the People What They Want."

Jones also acted in movies. She played the role of a juke joint singer in The Great Debaters in 2007. She was also the subject of the Barbara Koppel-directed documentary Miss Sharon Jones!

In 2013, Jones was first diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and recovered for a time, but the cancer relapsed. In 2015, at the premiere of Miss Sharon Jones! she announced that her cancer had returned. It later spread to her lungs, liver and lymph nodes.

Jones' family has asked that instead of flowers, last respects be shown through donations made to The Lustgarten Foundation, James Brown Family Foundation or Little Kids Rock.

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