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Filmmaker Barbara Kopple on the 'force of nature' that is Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings kick off their delayed 2014 tour at the Beacon Theater in New York.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings kick off their delayed 2014 tour at the Beacon Theater in New York.
Jacob Blickenstaff

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In 2013, life was going pretty well for singer Sharon Jones.

She was enjoying a successful career with her band Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, a loyal following on the road, and was getting ready to release a new album.

But then she was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. 

Her battle with pancreatic cancer is the subject of a new documentary titled "Miss Sharon Jones!" from Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple.

Interview highlights:

On meeting Sharon for the first time

"I knew of her music, but I did not know her. The first moment I met her she was having her dreds cut off and her head shaved and she was really sad. And then we went to a place that gives wigs to cancer patients and she was amazingly funny and so great trying them on and not liking any of them and making hilarious comments about them. And I just felt-- this is a person who really loves life and is just so tremendous. This is not a film about a cancer patient. This is a film about a tremendous woman who has so much talent and is so positive and has a zest for life. She's like a force of nature."

On how cancer has changed Sharon

"I think that the cancer has made her stronger, and value life in a way that she knows that it's always going to be in her body. She is out on the road, and she's touring, and she's not going to let a little thing like cancer get her down. She's just going to kick cancer in the butt whenever she can, and somebody with that kind of positive energy is somebody to be reckoned with." 

"Miss Sharon Jones!" opens August 5th at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles.