Danion Jones, who performed at the Apollo Theater a year after undergoing a daylong operation to remove most of a brain tumor, died last Sunday from complications related to the tumor, his family said.
The funeral for Danion, who was 7, was held on Saturday at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark.
In all, he had four brain operations and about 10 procedures related to fluid-draining shunts in his head. Although the operations and extensive treatments allowed him to return to a normal level of functioning, he still suffered bouts of fatigue and nausea, and he had to take medication throughout the day.
By the fall of 2009, he was well enough to audition for the Apollo Theater’s Stars of Tomorrow series for children ages 5 to 15. The children perform at the start of the Harlem theater’s famous Amateur Night shows.
At least one of Danion’s doctors was in the audience when he walked onto the Apollo’s stage the following April, but none of the other spectators knew of his harrowing medical history.
Danion sang Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Though he did not win the contest that night, the crowd roared.