Another music great passed away on Friday, as soul star Sharon Jones lost her battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 60. Many have shared their thoughts and well-wishes following her passing, but the real love letter would be to look back at where she signed: the music. Her work with the Dap Kings was a fine throwback to the classic days of soul, with sharp horns and funky grooves. Jones may have gotten a start later than most artists, releasing her first album at the age of 40, but she put out some impressive work over the years.
To cement that, look no further than her connection with Prince. It’s weird that both lives came to an end in 2016 because it seems that there was a great connection when Prince asked Jones and The Dap Kings to open for him in 2011:
He was walking in Austin and he saw us perform, and he told me, “‘Girl, you took me to church.'” According to his purple majesty, Jones’ “When I Come Home” is “the funkiest blues song.”
“That was my first ‘I don’t know what to do with myself’ moment,” Jones recalled.
She told Entertainment Weekly about how she was worried when negotiating a price for her group’s first gig with Prince, but was put at ease once they returned with a figure and he ended up bumping up the number by $5,000. That’s where the clip above comes into play, months after the playing relationship started, Prince surprised Jones on stage in Paris and created a moment we can enjoy now in the face of a darker moment:
At one gig in Paris while Jones was opening for Prince, she remembers he surprised her and came out during her set for a surprise guitar spot. “I’m up there on the stage, I’m dancing, people are screaming — and the roaring got louder,” she says. “It turned out it was Prince. He caught me off guard. He would’ve played longer, but he dropped his pick.”
As Jones tells it, the entire moment was coated in Prince’s eccentric flourishes. “He rode up to the stage on a bike, jumped off the bike, got his guitar, played, jumped back on his bike, and rode back to his own, purple dressing room,” she says. “That’s the type of person he was.”
It’s a damn shame we’ve lost Prince and Sharon Jones in the same year, along with many, many other great artists. Just the clip above really shows what kind of show you were getting before Prince showed up on stage. Then he just appears and the whole thing becomes a happening. Very cool.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)