In memory of Sharon Jones’ love for her faith, here’s a brief insight into the singer’s religious life.

Sharon Jones will be remembered for a number of reasons. Her contribution to music has truly left people spellbound all her life. When she passed away on November 18 at the age of 60 after losing her battle to cancer, the music world lost a great pillar. However, it wasn’t just the world of music that is saddened by the loss of someone who will forever be remembered as someone who defined the “neo-soul” movement in an all new way, Christians too were saddened by the loss of a celebrity who never shied away from proclaiming her faith openly.

Never did Sharon Jones make her love for Christ as obvious as when she was nearing death in the hospital. The singer insisted on singing gospel songs as she neared her death, even though she found it difficult to speak. 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 “Amazing Grace“, “This Little Light of Mine” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

Sharon Jones and her band, the Dap-Kings, however, did not limit their music to gospel and Christian themes. Their holiday album, Its A Holiday Soul Party, included a Jewish-themed song, “8 Days of Hanukkah.” This song was not really religious, but recast the Jewish holiday as a time for cheer and merriment, much like Christmas. The song contains plenty of Jewish references. Jones was clearly deeply rooted in the Bible.

Did the news of her cancer devastate her faith? Jones revealed in an interview that it did not. Although she may have been afraid of death, the way she has lived her life gave her confidence to face death. Her pastor at church also assured her that no matter what, all the good that she has done will add up to get her to meet her Creator face to face. Jones believed that singing was a gift that God had given her, and was happy she utilized that gift.

If anything, her illness seemed to have only strengthened her faith more. In the months that led to her death, Jones became more and more spiritual. Although criticisms did arise from other people in her congregation that as a singer she wasn’t being “good” in a religious sense, she was always confident that she had led a life that is worthy of heaven.

Her peace and composure at death were outward signs of the inner peace that Sharon Jones was having. Her legacy will forever be cherished by musicians and fans alike.

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