Sharon Jones was weary of the presidential election, which led to the famed singer’s stroke two weeks before her death, a bandmate from the Dap-Kings has claimed.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Gabriel Roth says the singer’s declining health could’ve been attributed to the 2016 presidential election. The rhythm and funk world were at a loss on Friday (Nov. 18) after it was announced Jones passed at the age of 60 from her battle with pancreatic cancer. Roth says cancer never got the best of her; it was a stroke that she suffered on Nov. 8-election night- that landed her in the hospital.
“Well, she’d been fighting cancer for a few years now, and there’s been all kinds of stuff coming at her. But the thing that actually got her in the last couple of weeks was, she had a stroke watching the election results,” Roth said. “After that first stroke she couldn’t move her leg, but she could still talk. 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 suffered another stroke while in hospital care and was unable to communicate with family and bandmates. Before losing the ability to speak, Roth says Jones continued to do what she did best, which was singing. “Binky [Griptite, a Dap-Kings member] started to play the guitar and she started humming along. It was kind of remarkable,” he said. “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. And, you know, it was very sad, but it was also very beautiful and kind of amazing to see that. I mean, she was the strongest person any of us had ever known, and she just kept singing. She didn’t want to stop singing.”
Jones began her career in her 40’s after meeting Roth and released seven albums under the band name, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. The Grammy-nominated singer was remembered by her peers Questlove, Nile Rogers, Chaka Khan and Barbara Kopple, the director of Miss Sharon Jones! over the weekend.