Soul singer Sharon Jones died Nov. 18 after battling cancer, but her bandmate believes the election of Donald Trump more than a week before is to blame.
Jones’ Dap-Kings band member Gabriel Roth revealed the late singer, who passed away at age 60, suffered a stroke while watching the results of the presidential election Nov. 8.
“She told the people that were [visiting in the hospital] that Trump gave her the stroke,” Roth told the Los Angeles Times.
He acknowledged the singer had been fighting pancreatic cancer for years, which NPR reported in the summer of 2013. But Roth told the LA Times the election outcome caused Jones’ health to deteriorate.
“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.”
When Jones’ longtime bandmate flew to Cooperstown, New York, to visit her, he discovered the singer put the cause of her first stroke on the president-elect.
“She was blaming Trump for the whole thing,” Roth added.
But the following day, on Nov. 9, Jones suffered another stroke causing her to lose her ability to communicate. However, that didn’t crush her musicality. Roth shared that although Jones could no longer sing, she was able to hum in tune with the rest of the band who visited her.
“It was crazy,” he said. “Even in that state … if you asked her if she was in pain, she couldn’t respond. She couldn’t say one word or say somebody’s name or anything. But she could find harmony notes with Saun and Starr and sing three-part harmony and improvise these gospel moans. It was really remarkable and it was beautiful.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Ironically, Jones, who admitted her love of music to NPR in 2014, stayed away from it while undergoing chemotherapy to treat her cancer.
“Music is my joy,” she said. “And since I’ve been sick, I can’t concentrate on the music. I’m just basically concentrating on trying to get well.”
Even though her condition had improved after treatment, when her documentary “Miss Sharon Jones” debuted last year, Jones announced her cancer had returned. This time, it was more aggressive than before, but the singer continued performing and had concerts scheduled through 2017.
Jones died surrounded by family and The Dap Kings, according to her official website.