Gloria Estefan has shared the sad news of the death of Ron “Bear” Jones, her longtime tour bus driver. The singer says Jones died due to complications of COVID-19.
“Ron (Bear) Jones was one of the sweetest, most loving humans that I’ve had the privilege to know,” Estefan wrote on Instagram, where she posted a photo in remembrance of Jones on Dec. 3.
“He was my favorite tour bus driver and was driving us on March 20, 1990 when we had a horrific accident while on the ‘Cuts Both Ways’ tour. He rode in the ambulance with me to the hospital holding my hand even though he was severely injured himself,” she remembered. “He drove us on every tour after that including my final world tour in 2004.”
Estefan said, “He lost his life yesterday to Covid. May he rest in peace in the knowledge that he was well loved & respected and we will miss him a lot on this earth. My sincerest condolences to his family and all who loved him.”
Peter Frampton, who also knew Jones, added a tribute to him with a message on Twitter on Dec. 5.
“Thank you @GloriaEstefan I echo your kind words about our dear friend Bear Jones he was our favourite driver too. A very special, warm & caring person. He will be missed by so many. Much love Bear, Your ‘little buddy’ Peter,” Frampton wrote. “RIP.”
In early November, Estefan revealed her own experience testing positive for COVID-19, warning others, “I want you to know how highly contagious this is.”
“The fear is the biggest part of this whole thing,” Estefan said. She has tested negative twice since her diagnosis.