Kevin Sharp, a country musician who topped the charts after fighting a grueling, heavily publicized battle with cancer, has died. He was 43.
According to his website, he died Saturday evening from “past stomach surgeries and digestive issues.”
The Redding, Calif.-born musician began showing interest in music early in his life, and participated in local musicals during high school. His musical career hit a bump in the road, however, after Sharp began to experience frequent dizziness and fatigue. Tests showed that Sharp was suffering from a form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma.
After being diagnosed, Sharp underwent two years of chemotherapy and radiation, losing all of his hair as a result. His chances of recovery looked bleak at the time.
His musical career got another chance after Sharp met famous producer David Foster, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In the mid ’90s, Sharp gave Foster a demo tape, which helped him nab a deal with Asylum Records.
In 1996, Sharp released his first album, “Measure of a Man.” The album reached was certified Gold, selling more than 500,000 copies, and contained the song for which Sharp may be best known, “Nobody Knows.” The single is the country version of the song the Tony Rich Project made famous and spent several weeks at No. 1 after its release.
He released two more chart toppers, “She’s Sure Taking it Well” and “If You Love Somebody,” in 1997. In 1998, he unveiled “Love Is,” his last album before leaving Asylum.
Sharp signed with indie label Cupit in 2005 and released his most recent album, “Make a Wish,” in 2005. His last single was 2011’s “Let Me Rock You to Sleep.”
After Sharp’s against-the-odds recovery from cancer, he became heavily involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, serving as a spokesperson as well as touring the United States as a motivation speaker.
Sharp’s website reads that if anyone would like to make a donation in his memory, donations can be made to their nearest Make-A-Wish chapter. Memorial services are being planned in Nashville.