Sharon Jones at the Apollo Theater (225374)
Credit: Bill Moore photo

Blues diva Sharon Jones, whose powerful voice could soar over her band’s thunderous beat, will now have to be experienced on her records and a passion-filled documentary. Jones, 60, died Friday at the Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, N.Y. Her death, from pancreatic cancer, was confirmed by her publicist, Judy Miller Silverman.

Three years ago, along with her many fans who were rocked during her barnstorming career, you might have read about her in The Village Voice. At that time in a very moving profile, Jones’s musical odyssey was given additional poignancy when it was disclosed she was battling pancreatic cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

By the winter of 2014, the energetic vocalist was back on the road with her band, the Dap-Kings, belting out her signature songs that are a mixture of blues and funk with a dollop of gospel. Some of her blues magic is captured in Barbara Kopple’s documentary, “Miss Sharon Jones,” but even more on her recordings for Daptone Records.

If you pay close attention, you will see her and her band appear in “The Great Debaters,” a 2007 film by Denzel Washington.

But Jones’ reputation was made in the clubs and joints—and sometimes at concerts and festivals—where she was able to unleash her full arsenal of sound, particularly when her band was kicking into high gear. A solid sample of her artistry occurs on her Grammy Award nominated album, “Give the People What They Want.”

Jones brought a tsunami of excitement to her performances, leading many to compare her with the electric James Brown. Beyond the rhythm and blues motif, they were both natives of Augusta, Ga.

Born Sharon Lafaye Jones, May 4, 1956, in Augusta, she spent several of her early years in South Carolina before she moved with her family to Bedford-Stuyvesant. Her voice was first heard in Brooklyn churches and gradually worked its way out of choir into the broader musical venues.

While perfecting her craft, she worked as a prison guard at Rikers Island and as a security guard for Wells Fargo.

Out of uniform, she worked inexhaustibly on the blues circuit for decades. In 1996, Gabriel Roth of Daptone Records signed her, believing she was not “too short, too fat, too Black and too old,” as she was dismissed by other record labels.

Some of the rejection may have fueled her drive to succeed, and it was perhaps that same indomitable spirit and resolve that kept her going upon being diagnosed with cancer.

A year ago, after touring with Hall & Oates and recording a Christmas album, Jones told Kopple that she wasn’t sure if she’d live another day. “But I’m still here,” she sang.

And she certainly is still here, eternally on records, a documentary and several iterations on YouTube, even with Prince in Paris.

Jones is survived by her siblings Dora Jones, Isiah Jones, Henry Jones and Willian Stringer.