‘Studio 54’ Film Review: Disco Doc Skims the Surface Like Club Owners Skimming Profits

The nightclub Studio 54 sought to be a disco paradise in the 1970s, a utopia made up of sex, drugs, dancing, and celebrity display. Many gay men of a certain age in Manhattan still claim to have been one of the shirtless waiters in tight shorts at Studio 54, and like so much else about that club, these claims are hard to verify.

Documentarian Matt Tyrnauer (“Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”) sits down with the two surviving co-owners of the club, Ian Schrager and Jack Dushey (the latter functioned as a silent partner), and tries to get them to reveal the tale behind its rise and fall, but this often proves difficult for him. Steve Rubell, the exuberant public face of Studio 54, died of AIDS-related complications in 1989, and so he isn’t around to tell his part of the story. The feeling persists in “Studio 54” that we are very far from hearing what really happened there.

Tyrnauer centers his movie around interviews with Schrager, who is a very guarded guy. It comes out mid-way through the film that Schrager’s father was an associate of gangster Meyer Lansky who was nicknamed “Max the Jew,” and Schrager is cagy about how much he wants to reveal about himself and his background to Tyrnauer. The heterosexual Schrager was best friends from college on with Rubell, a gay guy who was closeted when he needed to be. At Rubell’s funeral, we are told that Rubell’s mother asked, “Why didn’t Steve ever get married?”

Watch Video: Director Matt Tyrnauer on the Untold Story of ‘Studio 54’

It was Rubell’s mother who did the bookkeeping for Studio 54, which self-destructed around three years after its flashy opening in 1977 when Feds discovered enormous amounts of money and some drugs hidden on the premises. As one federal agent says here, if you’re going to skim money off the top, you should do 10 percent, whereas the owners of Studio 54 were skimming closer to 80 percent. This thievery was so blatant that the word “skim” was actually found on their balance sheets.

“Studio 54” emphasizes the long and painful legal downfall of the club rather than the spirit of fun that it was advertising. We see only glimpses of celebrated hedonistic images like Bianca Jagger on a horse at the club on her birthday, and black-and-white stills mixed with some grainy color footage can only give us a suggestion of what Studio 54 was like.

Also Read: ‘This Ain’t No Disco’ Theater Review: Is Studio 54 Ready for Another 15 Minutes of Fame?

Schrager says they wanted to make the “ultimate nightclub” and “dent the universe,” and they did manage to do that. One of the former workers at Studio 54 says that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards didn’t have to pay to get in but the other Rolling Stones did. This was symptomatic of the hierarchy of the club, which bred resentment for all the people who were denied entry and forced to stare like “one of the damned trying to get into paradise,” as writer Anthony Haden-Guest puts it here.

We get the expected photos of Liza Minnelli and fashion designer Halston, and there’s a tantalizing shot of Minnelli dirty dancing with Mikhail Baryshnikov that is one of the few images in “Studio 54” that really catches the flavor of this milieu. Even old-time stars like Cary Grant and (surprisingly) Ginger Rogers are seen wanting to get a feel, so to speak, for what all the fuss was about.

It seems clear that the focus of “Studio 54” should have been on the unusual and very close relationship between Rubell and Schrager — who eventually went to prison together and remained so close after their release that they purchased a joint vacation home — but there are many unanswered questions here. Did Rubell ever express romantic feelings for Schrager at any point through the years? (After all, this was a very druggy “anything goes” period.) Was their relationship platonic from both sides, or just from Schrager’s side?

Also Read: Starz Acquires Matt Tyrnauer’s ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’ and 8 Other Docs

Maybe Tyrnauer did ask these questions but was unable to get satisfactory answers from Schrager, who does eventually confirm that both he and Rubell were stoolies in prison, ratting out other nightclub owners for skimming off the top as they did.

The most emotional moment in “Studio 54” comes when Schrager says that his father would not have been pleased that they incriminated others in order to get out of prison early. He and Rubell both went against the code of “honor among thieves,” but we don’t know if Rubell himself was as aware of this as Schrager is.

“Studio 54” is a case of a documentary attempting to tell a story that obviously cannot be fully or satisfyingly told at this juncture. As such, it has value only insofar as it suggests how much that era cannot quite be re-captured.



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‘Hal’ Film Review: Engaging Documentary Celebrates 70s Maverick Director Hal Ashby

We Need a Movie About Jobriath, the Openly Gay ’70s Rocker Who Inspired Morrissey and Def Leppard (Podcast)

The nightclub Studio 54 sought to be a disco paradise in the 1970s, a utopia made up of sex, drugs, dancing, and celebrity display. Many gay men of a certain age in Manhattan still claim to have been one of the shirtless waiters in tight shorts at Studio 54, and like so much else about that club, these claims are hard to verify.

Documentarian Matt Tyrnauer (“Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”) sits down with the two surviving co-owners of the club, Ian Schrager and Jack Dushey (the latter functioned as a silent partner), and tries to get them to reveal the tale behind its rise and fall, but this often proves difficult for him. Steve Rubell, the exuberant public face of Studio 54, died of AIDS-related complications in 1989, and so he isn’t around to tell his part of the story. The feeling persists in “Studio 54” that we are very far from hearing what really happened there.

Tyrnauer centers his movie around interviews with Schrager, who is a very guarded guy. It comes out mid-way through the film that Schrager’s father was an associate of gangster Meyer Lansky who was nicknamed “Max the Jew,” and Schrager is cagy about how much he wants to reveal about himself and his background to Tyrnauer. The heterosexual Schrager was best friends from college on with Rubell, a gay guy who was closeted when he needed to be. At Rubell’s funeral, we are told that Rubell’s mother asked, “Why didn’t Steve ever get married?”

It was Rubell’s mother who did the bookkeeping for Studio 54, which self-destructed around three years after its flashy opening in 1977 when Feds discovered enormous amounts of money and some drugs hidden on the premises. As one federal agent says here, if you’re going to skim money off the top, you should do 10 percent, whereas the owners of Studio 54 were skimming closer to 80 percent. This thievery was so blatant that the word “skim” was actually found on their balance sheets.

“Studio 54” emphasizes the long and painful legal downfall of the club rather than the spirit of fun that it was advertising. We see only glimpses of celebrated hedonistic images like Bianca Jagger on a horse at the club on her birthday, and black-and-white stills mixed with some grainy color footage can only give us a suggestion of what Studio 54 was like.

Schrager says they wanted to make the “ultimate nightclub” and “dent the universe,” and they did manage to do that. One of the former workers at Studio 54 says that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards didn’t have to pay to get in but the other Rolling Stones did. This was symptomatic of the hierarchy of the club, which bred resentment for all the people who were denied entry and forced to stare like “one of the damned trying to get into paradise,” as writer Anthony Haden-Guest puts it here.

We get the expected photos of Liza Minnelli and fashion designer Halston, and there’s a tantalizing shot of Minnelli dirty dancing with Mikhail Baryshnikov that is one of the few images in “Studio 54” that really catches the flavor of this milieu. Even old-time stars like Cary Grant and (surprisingly) Ginger Rogers are seen wanting to get a feel, so to speak, for what all the fuss was about.

It seems clear that the focus of “Studio 54” should have been on the unusual and very close relationship between Rubell and Schrager — who eventually went to prison together and remained so close after their release that they purchased a joint vacation home — but there are many unanswered questions here. Did Rubell ever express romantic feelings for Schrager at any point through the years? (After all, this was a very druggy “anything goes” period.) Was their relationship platonic from both sides, or just from Schrager’s side?

Maybe Tyrnauer did ask these questions but was unable to get satisfactory answers from Schrager, who does eventually confirm that both he and Rubell were stoolies in prison, ratting out other nightclub owners for skimming off the top as they did.

The most emotional moment in “Studio 54” comes when Schrager says that his father would not have been pleased that they incriminated others in order to get out of prison early. He and Rubell both went against the code of “honor among thieves,” but we don’t know if Rubell himself was as aware of this as Schrager is.

“Studio 54” is a case of a documentary attempting to tell a story that obviously cannot be fully or satisfyingly told at this juncture. As such, it has value only insofar as it suggests how much that era cannot quite be re-captured.

Related stories from TheWrap:

10 LGBT-Themed Movies We're Dying to See This Fall, From 'Colette' to 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (Photos)

'Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood' Review: Sex Abounded in Hollywood's Golden Age

'Hal' Film Review: Engaging Documentary Celebrates 70s Maverick Director Hal Ashby

We Need a Movie About Jobriath, the Openly Gay '70s Rocker Who Inspired Morrissey and Def Leppard (Podcast)

Keith Richards Takes Big Hit on Sale of New York City Duplex Penthouse

After more than two years on and off the market with prices that started at an in-hindsight wild-eyed $12.23 million and plummeted to a still too cocksure $9.95 million, Keith Richards has at long last sold a terraced duplex penthouse in the historic a…

After more than two years on and off the market with prices that started at an in-hindsight wild-eyed $12.23 million and plummeted to a still too cocksure $9.95 million, Keith Richards has at long last sold a terraced duplex penthouse in the historic and historically prestigious heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village for $9 […]

James Bay Joins Rolling Stones for ‘Beast of Burden’ Duet (Watch)

James Bay warmed up the crowd at London’s Twickenham Stadium before The Rolling Stones took the stage last night. But after Bay’s opening set, Stones frontman Mick Jagger invited him back onstage to perform a duet of the band’s hit &#…

James Bay warmed up the crowd at London’s Twickenham Stadium before The Rolling Stones took the stage last night. But after Bay’s opening set, Stones frontman Mick Jagger invited him back onstage to perform a duet of the band’s hit “Beast of Burden.” The song, originally from 1978’s “Some Girls” album, saw a second life […]

Keith Richards Apologizes for Saying Mick Jagger Needs a Vasectomy

Maybe Keith Richards should consider having his vocal cords snipped.

Rolling Stones guitarist Richards has issued an apology after declaring that his bandmate, Stones frontman Mick Jagger, should have a vasectomy.

In a Twitter mea culpa Wednesday, the guitarist said that his comments were “completely out of line.”

Also Read: Keith Richards Trashes Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ as ‘Rubbish’

Richards also said that he had apologized to Jagger personally.

“I deeply regret the comments I made about Mick in the WSJ which were completely out of line,” Richards wrote. “I have of course apologized to him in person.”

In an interview with WSJ Magazine (via the New York Post), Richards said of Jagger — who welcomed an eighth child at age 73 in 2016 — “It’s time for snip. You can’t be a father at that age. Those poor kids!” Jagger is now 74.

Also Read: Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts Says David Bowie ‘Wasn’t This Musical Genius’

This isn’t the first time that Richards has apologized after tearing into his longtime bandmate. After calling Jagger “unbearable” and accusing him of being poorly endowed in his 2010 autobiography “Life,” Richards apologized in 2012, telling Rolling Stone, “As far as the book goes, it was my story and it was very raw, as I meant it to be, but I know that some parts of it and some of the publicity really offended Mick and I regret that.”

I deeply regret the comments I made about Mick in the WSJ which were completely out of line. I have of course apologised to him in person.

– Keith Richards (@officialKeef) February 28, 2018

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Maybe Keith Richards should consider having his vocal cords snipped.

Rolling Stones guitarist Richards has issued an apology after declaring that his bandmate, Stones frontman Mick Jagger, should have a vasectomy.

In a Twitter mea culpa Wednesday, the guitarist said that his comments were “completely out of line.”

Richards also said that he had apologized to Jagger personally.

“I deeply regret the comments I made about Mick in the WSJ which were completely out of line,” Richards wrote. “I have of course apologized to him in person.”

In an interview with WSJ Magazine (via the New York Post), Richards said of Jagger — who welcomed an eighth child at age 73 in 2016 — “It’s time for snip. You can’t be a father at that age. Those poor kids!” Jagger is now 74.

This isn’t the first time that Richards has apologized after tearing into his longtime bandmate. After calling Jagger “unbearable” and accusing him of being poorly endowed in his 2010 autobiography “Life,” Richards apologized in 2012, telling Rolling Stone, “As far as the book goes, it was my story and it was very raw, as I meant it to be, but I know that some parts of it and some of the publicity really offended Mick and I regret that.”

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Keith Richards Trash-Talks Led Zeppelin, The Who in New Interview

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Rolling Stones Announce Summer Tour Dates: ‘We Haven’t Finished Yet’

The Rolling Stones, who have toured every year since 2012 and whose principals are all in their 70s, have announced another set of concert dates, this one a summer stadium run through the U.K. and Europe.  The 11-date “No Filter” tour launches May 17 in Ireland and is likely to be another set filled with greatest […]

The Rolling Stones, who have toured every year since 2012 and whose principals are all in their 70s, have announced another set of concert dates, this one a summer stadium run through the U.K. and Europe.  The 11-date “No Filter” tour launches May 17 in Ireland and is likely to be another set filled with greatest […]

13 Times ‘The Simpsons’ Predicted the Future (Photos)

“The Simpsons” has an eerie knack for predicting the future, from Donald Trump’s presidency to Nobel Prize Winners. Here are 12 times the long-running comedic series got it right.

Lady Gaga

On the episode “Lisa Goes Gaga,” Lady Gaga is shown suspended by cables flying over the audience at a concert. Well surprise, surprise because at the Super Bowl LI’s halftime show, Gaga descended from the stadium’s roof with suspension cables wearing pretty much the same outfit on her episode.

2016 Nobel Prize Winner

In a 2010 episode, Milhouse predicted that Bengt R. Holmstrom would win the Nobel Prize in Economics and sure enough, in 2016 Holmstrom and Oliver Hart were announced as joint winners of the prize.

Donald Trump Presidency

17 years ago in an episode titled “Bart to the Future” shows Lisa as president after Donald Trump apparently ruined the economy.

Arnold Palmer

On the 28th season premiere, the satirical series made an Arnold Palmer Joke … on the day that golfer Arnold Palmer died.

Homer Simpson tells his wife Marge that he plans to “Arnold Palmer” his pal Lenny.

“Arnold Palmer Lenny?” Marge responds. “You’re going to Arnold Palmer Lenny?”

He was of course referring to the lemonade and iced tea drink mixture — which was named after the golfer.

Siegfried and Roy Tiger Attack

In 1993, an episode titled “$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalised Gambling),” the show imitated a Siegfried and Roy where the magicians got attacked by their trustworthy tiger.

Well, in 2003 Roy was attacked by one of their white tigers during a live performance. He sustained injuries, but lived.

Faulty Voting Machine

During the 2012 elections, a voting machine proved faulty when votes cast for Barack Obama went to Mitt Romney instead.

In a 2008 episode, Homer Simpson went to the voting booths to cast a vote for Obama, but … his vote went to McCain instead.

Higgs Boson

In a 1998 episode, “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” Homer Simpson writes out an equation on a chalkboard which if solved “you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is,” says Simon Singh, science author.

Horse Meat Scandal

In 1994 an episode titled “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song,” the lunch lady was seen reaching into a barrel labeled “assorted horse parts” and putting the meat into the school’s lunch pot.

In 2013, it was reported that traces of horse DNA was found in beef products across the UK.

Guitar Hero

The now basically extinct but once popular video game Guitar Hero was first released in 2005.

But in a 2002 Simpsons episode, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards give Homer a jacket that has “guitar hero” printed on the back of it.

Farmville

The virtual reality game, Farmville, was all the craze in 2009 with people rushing home from work or school to tend to their farm.

In a 1998 episode, “The Simpsons” shows a scene were kids are excited to play in a yard work simulator.

Old Beatles Letters

In Season 2’s episode 18, “Brush With Greatness,” Ringo Starr from the Beatles is shown responding to fan letters while saying: “They took the time to write me, and I don’t care if it takes me another 20 years. I’m going to answer every one of them.”

Well, two women in England received a reply to their fan mail form Sir Paul McCartney 50 years later.

Smart Watches

Sorry Apple, but The Simpsons had smart watches first.

In a 1995 episode, where the show is set in the future, Lisa’s husband is shown speaking to a phone on his wrist.

The first smart watch wasn’t created until 2013.

 

Disney Owns Fox 

Back in 1998, a quick scene in “The Simpsons” showed 20th Century Fox as “a Division of Walt Disney Co.” And late in 2017, Disney was deep in talks to acquire much of the Fox empire, including the film and TV studio.

 

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“The Simpsons” has an eerie knack for predicting the future, from Donald Trump’s presidency to Nobel Prize Winners. Here are 12 times the long-running comedic series got it right.

Lady Gaga

On the episode “Lisa Goes Gaga,” Lady Gaga is shown suspended by cables flying over the audience at a concert. Well surprise, surprise because at the Super Bowl LI’s halftime show, Gaga descended from the stadium’s roof with suspension cables wearing pretty much the same outfit on her episode.

2016 Nobel Prize Winner

In a 2010 episode, Milhouse predicted that Bengt R. Holmstrom would win the Nobel Prize in Economics and sure enough, in 2016 Holmstrom and Oliver Hart were announced as joint winners of the prize.

Donald Trump Presidency

17 years ago in an episode titled “Bart to the Future” shows Lisa as president after Donald Trump apparently ruined the economy.

Arnold Palmer

On the 28th season premiere, the satirical series made an Arnold Palmer Joke … on the day that golfer Arnold Palmer died.

Homer Simpson tells his wife Marge that he plans to “Arnold Palmer” his pal Lenny.

“Arnold Palmer Lenny?” Marge responds. “You’re going to Arnold Palmer Lenny?”

He was of course referring to the lemonade and iced tea drink mixture — which was named after the golfer.

Siegfried and Roy Tiger Attack

In 1993, an episode titled “$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalised Gambling),” the show imitated a Siegfried and Roy where the magicians got attacked by their trustworthy tiger.

Well, in 2003 Roy was attacked by one of their white tigers during a live performance. He sustained injuries, but lived.

Faulty Voting Machine

During the 2012 elections, a voting machine proved faulty when votes cast for Barack Obama went to Mitt Romney instead.

In a 2008 episode, Homer Simpson went to the voting booths to cast a vote for Obama, but … his vote went to McCain instead.

Higgs Boson

In a 1998 episode, “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” Homer Simpson writes out an equation on a chalkboard which if solved “you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is,” says Simon Singh, science author.

Horse Meat Scandal

In 1994 an episode titled “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song,” the lunch lady was seen reaching into a barrel labeled “assorted horse parts” and putting the meat into the school’s lunch pot.

In 2013, it was reported that traces of horse DNA was found in beef products across the UK.

Guitar Hero

The now basically extinct but once popular video game Guitar Hero was first released in 2005.

But in a 2002 Simpsons episode, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards give Homer a jacket that has “guitar hero” printed on the back of it.

Farmville

The virtual reality game, Farmville, was all the craze in 2009 with people rushing home from work or school to tend to their farm.

In a 1998 episode, “The Simpsons” shows a scene were kids are excited to play in a yard work simulator.

Old Beatles Letters

In Season 2’s episode 18, “Brush With Greatness,” Ringo Starr from the Beatles is shown responding to fan letters while saying: “They took the time to write me, and I don’t care if it takes me another 20 years. I’m going to answer every one of them.”

Well, two women in England received a reply to their fan mail form Sir Paul McCartney 50 years later.

Smart Watches

Sorry Apple, but The Simpsons had smart watches first.

In a 1995 episode, where the show is set in the future, Lisa’s husband is shown speaking to a phone on his wrist.

The first smart watch wasn’t created until 2013.

 

Disney Owns Fox 

Back in 1998, a quick scene in “The Simpsons” showed 20th Century Fox as “a Division of Walt Disney Co.” And late in 2017, Disney was deep in talks to acquire much of the Fox empire, including the film and TV studio.

 

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Now We Know What Kind of Car Homer Drives on 'The Simpsons'

'The Simpsons' Addresses Trump Election Prediction in Chalkboard Gag

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'The Simpsons' Renewed Through Historic 30th Season

Keith Richards Re-Lists Manhattan Duplex (EXCLUSIVE)

Rolling Stones icon Keith Richards has engaged the services of a second high-profile real estate agent to help sell his duplex apartment in a plummy Art Deco building in lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village that’s languished on the market for more than a year with a price tag of $12.23 million. The approximately 2,700-square-foot aerie, a… Read more »

Rolling Stones icon Keith Richards has engaged the services of a second high-profile real estate agent to help sell his duplex apartment in a plummy Art Deco building in lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village that’s languished on the market for more than a year with a price tag of $12.23 million. The approximately 2,700-square-foot aerie, a... Read more »

Singer Sharon Jones Dies at 60 Following Cancer Battle

Sharon Jones has died at age 60 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

A statement on she and her band The Dap Kings’ official Facebook page confirmed the news.

“She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time,” the post read.

Also Read: Toronto’s Music-Doc Explosion Puts Keith Richards, Janis Joplin, Arcade Fire Onscreen

A documentary about Jones’ health struggles and triumphant return to music — “Miss Sharon Jones” — is currently making awards rounds, directed by Oscar winner Barbara Kopple. In 2014, she was nominated for her first Grammy, for the R&B record “Give the People What They Want.”

The film is nominated for multiple Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Association’s inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards including Best Music Documentary, Best Song in a Documentary and Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary.

Jones’ story was certainly movie grist. Well into adulthood she worked as a corrections officer at Rikers Island prison and as an armored car driver for Wells Fargo Bank. Her big break came in 1996, where she landed a gig as a backup singer in pro recording sessions, which she parlayed it into stardom. Her musical style reached back to 1960s soul and ’70s funk.

Jones had a small role in Denzel Washington’s 2007 film “The Great Debaters.”

The official statement from her Facebook page:

We are deeply saddened to announce Sharon Jones passed away today after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.

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Lisa Lynn Masters, ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,’ ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Actress, Dies at 52

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Gwen Ifill, ‘PBS NewsHour’ Host, Dies at 61

Sharon Jones has died at age 60 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

A statement on she and her band The Dap Kings’ official Facebook page confirmed the news.

“She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time,” the post read.

A documentary about Jones’ health struggles and triumphant return to music — “Miss Sharon Jones” — is currently making awards rounds, directed by Oscar winner Barbara Kopple. In 2014, she was nominated for her first Grammy, for the R&B record “Give the People What They Want.”

The film is nominated for multiple Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Association’s inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards including Best Music Documentary, Best Song in a Documentary and Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary.

Jones’ story was certainly movie grist. Well into adulthood she worked as a corrections officer at Rikers Island prison and as an armored car driver for Wells Fargo Bank. Her big break came in 1996, where she landed a gig as a backup singer in pro recording sessions, which she parlayed it into stardom. Her musical style reached back to 1960s soul and ’70s funk.

Jones had a small role in Denzel Washington’s 2007 film “The Great Debaters.”

The official statement from her Facebook page:

We are deeply saddened to announce Sharon Jones passed away today after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Lisa Lynn Masters, 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,' 'Law & Order: SVU' Actress, Dies at 52

Holly Dunn, 'Daddy's Hands' Singer, Dies at 59

Gwen Ifill, 'PBS NewsHour' Host, Dies at 61

Rolling Stones Set Release Date for First Studio Album in Over a Decade

The Rolling Stones are set to release “Blue & Lonesome,” their first studio album in over ten years, the band announced on Thursday.

Recorded in just three days in London, the album was produced by Don Was and The Glimmer Twins for Interscope Records.

It was recorded in December last year at British Grove Studios, just a stone’s throw from Richmond and Eel Pie Island, where the Stones started out as a young blues band playing pubs and clubs.

Also Read: Mick Jagger Is Going to Be a Father Again at 72

Their approach to the album was that it should be spontaneous and played live in the studio without overdubs. The band — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood — was joined by their long time touring sidemen Darryl Jones, Chuck Leavell and Matt Clifford and, for two of the 12 tracks, old friend Eric Clapton, who happened to be in the next studio making his own album.

“This album is manifest testament to the purity of their love for making music, and the blues is, for the Stones, the fountainhead of everything they do.” Don Was said.

The band’s last studio album was “A Bigger Bang,” released in 2005. It peaked at number three on the U.S. charts and was certified platinum.

Also Read: Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney Team Up for 3-Night California Concert

“Blue & Lonesome” will be available in various formats beginning on Dec. 2.

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Former Rolling Stones Bassist Bill Wyman Battling Cancer

The Rolling Stones are set to release “Blue & Lonesome,” their first studio album in over ten years, the band announced on Thursday.

Recorded in just three days in London, the album was produced by Don Was and The Glimmer Twins for Interscope Records.

It was recorded in December last year at British Grove Studios, just a stone’s throw from Richmond and Eel Pie Island, where the Stones started out as a young blues band playing pubs and clubs.

Their approach to the album was that it should be spontaneous and played live in the studio without overdubs. The band — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood — was joined by their long time touring sidemen Darryl Jones, Chuck Leavell and Matt Clifford and, for two of the 12 tracks, old friend Eric Clapton, who happened to be in the next studio making his own album.

“This album is manifest testament to the purity of their love for making music, and the blues is, for the Stones, the fountainhead of everything they do.” Don Was said.

The band’s last studio album was “A Bigger Bang,” released in 2005. It peaked at number three on the U.S. charts and was certified platinum.

“Blue & Lonesome” will be available in various formats beginning on Dec. 2.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Rolling Stones Blast Donald Trump for Using 'Start Me Up' in Campaign

Rolling Stones Invade Cuba: Watch the Band Play 'Satisfaction,' 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' (Video)

Former Rolling Stones Bassist Bill Wyman Battling Cancer