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Gospel Vocalist Sharon Jones Sang Hymns in Hospital Before Dying

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Sharon Jones' contribution to music wasn't the only legacy she left after passing away at the age of 60; the "neo-soul" singer also will be remembered for open proclamations of her faith in Christ. She lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Nov. 18, with her last breaths in the hospital devoted to hymns, particularly "Amazing Grace."
Gospel and funk singer Sharon Jones lost a battle to cancer Nov. 18, 2016, but as she passed away in the hospital, she chose to sing religious hymns. Facebook

Sharon Jones' contribution to music wasn't the only legacy she left after passing away at the age of 60; the "neo-soul" singer also will be remembered for open proclamations of her faith in Christ. She lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Nov. 18, with her last breaths in the hospital devoted to hymns, particularly "Amazing Grace."

As Jones was nearing death in the hospital, she insisted on singing gospel songs, even though she found it difficult to speak, reports WRN. Through moans of pain, her loved ones and fellow band members gathered around her deathbed were able to decipher words from her favorite gospel songs, such as "This Little Light of Mine" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain."

Jones was clearly deeply rooted in the Bible.

Jones and her band, the Dap-Kings' holiday album, "It's A Holiday Soul Party," even included a Jewish-themed song, "8 Days of Hanukkah." This song recast the Jewish holiday as a time for cheer and merriment, much like Christmas.

Facing cancer did not devastate her faith Jones revealed in an interview. Although she may have been afraid of death, the way she lived her life gave her confidence to face death. She said her church pastor also assured her that no matter what, all the good she has done will add up to her meeting her Creator face-to-face.

Jones believed singing was a gift God had given her, and was happy she used that gift. In the months that led to her death, Jones reportedly became more and more spiritual.

The Dap-Kings' band members and recording studio thanked fans for prayers and thoughts regarding Jones. The band toured the world for more than a decade, combining funk, soul and gospel.

Jones returned to the stage after a 2013 cancer diagnosis, and bounced back with a 2014 Grammy nomination for her album, "Give the People What They Want." She "was one of the most phenomenal human beings I've ever met," said filmmaker Barbara Kopple, who spent nearly three years with the powerhouse singer for the recent documentary "Miss Sharon Jones!"

"She had incredible strength. She got that from her mother, and she drew strength from her church, her bandmates, her family and fans. Fighting a personal battle wasn't going to get her down," Kopple told Variety just a few days after Jones' death.

Early in her career, Jones was told by one music executive she was too black, too fat and too short. She said felt sad for a moment, "But then she wore that insult, almost like a badge of honor," said Kopple.

Jones spent much of her career as a corrections officer at Rikers Island and a security guard. Eventually she focused on music, and released her first album at age 40. She was nominated for her first Grammy in 2015. She was the frontwoman for a group of 11:  Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings also included eight musicians and two backup singers, Saundra and Starr, known as the Dapettes.

Tags : Sharon Jones, Gospel Singers, The Dap-Kings, Dapettes, It's A Holiday Soul Party, Barbara Kopple, music, singers who died in 2016, neo-soul movement, cancer victims, Give the People What They Want, #SharonJones