Kevin Sharp, a country music singer who overcame a rare form of bone cancer to top the charts with songs like "Nobody Knows," died Saturday at age 43, his personal assistant Sue Veldkamp confirmed to NBC News.
Sharp's website stated that he died in Fair Oaks, Calif., at 10:49 p.m. on April 19 "due to ongoing complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues."
Born in Redding, Calif., Sharp grew up in Idaho and was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma as a high school senior. Given a bleak prognosis, he was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and met producer and performer David Foster, who became a friend and mentor to the aspiring musician.
After two years of radiation and chemotherapy, Sharp went into remission in 1991 and began recording music. He released his debut album, "Measure of a Man," in 1996; the first single, "Nobody Knows" topped U.S. and Canadian country charts. Sharp also charted with several other singles, including, "She's Sure Taking It Well" and "If You Love Somebody." He released two other albums: "Love Is," in 1998 and "Make A Wish" in 2005. His final single, "Let Me Rock You to Sleep," was released in 2011.
"It was such an honor and pleasure to participate in Kevin's Make-A-Wish day some 20 years ago," Foster said in a statement to TODAY. "None of us could have possibly known how that day would profoundly change Kevin's life, propelling him into a world filled with music and allowing the world to fall in love with all of his musical talents. He gave so much of himself to others, not just with music but with his story, a life filled with adversity and compromised health, it remains one of my proudest moments to be a small part of his success. I will miss him dearly."
In addition to his music career, Sharp began motivational speaking and was a spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He published "Tragedy's Gift" in 2004 about his battle with cancer.
"If he were here, he'd want to stress that the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted him a wish at 18 years old, and he credits that wish with saving his life," said Veldkamp, adding any donations in Sharp's memory should be sent to the Foundation.
A memorial service in Nashville, Tenn., is being planned.