At first glance, the two black doors folding into a backstage corner of Harlem's Apollo Theater are a mess of marker — a two-pane graffiti tableau bearing a constellation of white and silver scrawlings hastily etched over a hurried paint job. Upon closer inspection, the doodles weren't left by anonymous vandals, but pop-culture heavyweights: Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, and Paul McCartney, to name just a few. The autographs spill over the doorframe onto the wall flanking a staircase that leads up to the dressing rooms. On that wall — just above the signature of actor Chadwick Boseman, who played James Brown in this year's biopic, Get On Up — is a note in curly script with the slightly faded touch of a silver pen running out of ink: "Love ya! Sharon Jones."
Henry Strauss The Gospel According to Sharon Jones: "It's almost like I'm preaching. I get to do that onstage."