Kevin Sharp Dead at 43
Kevin Sharp passed away on Saturday (April 19), from ongoing complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues. He was 43.
The 'Nobody Knows' singer was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a form of blood cancer, in 1989. Through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, he met producer David Foster, who helped Sharp secure his first record deal with Asylum Records.
The California native released his first album, 'Measure of a Man,' in 1996. The record spawned three Top 5 singles, including 'She's Sure Taking It Well' and 'If You Love Somebody.'
The hitmaker released his sophomore album, 'Love Is' in 1998, and another record, 'Make a Wish,' in 2005. He also wrote about his cancer battle in his book, 'Tragedy's Gift,' in 2004.
In recent years, in addition to continuing to perform, Sharp traveled extensively as a motivational speaker and national spokesperson for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, earning the prestigious Wishgranter of the Year award for his tireless efforts for the cause.
Sharp's health declined in recent years, as he battled numerous surgeries for leg infections. But even as he struggled physically, the tunesmith continued to spread his message of hope.
"My life is performing and speaking, so not only does it keep a roof over my head, it keeps me going emotionally," he told Country Weekly in 2012 (quote via Nashville's Tennessean). "If I didn't believe what I try to express and tell others, I wouldn't be here. Luckily, I believe in what I preach."
For anyone who wishes to make a donation in Sharp's memory, his family requests that a gift be offered in their local Make-a-Wish chapter. Tributes to Sharp can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and condolences to the family can be mailed to Kevin Sharp, c/o Sue Veldkamp, PO Box 54646, Cincinnati, Ohio 45254.
The Boot extends our deepest sympathies to the Sharp family.