R.i.p. James Brown
Posted 25 December 2006 - 09:32 AM
'Godfather of Soul' James Brown dead at 73
Updated Mon. Dec. 25 2006 8:00 AM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
James Brown, musical innovator, inimitable entertainer and self-prescribed "Godfather of Soul," died early Christmas Day at the age of 73.
Brown's agent Frank Copsidas said the singer was hospitalized with severe pneumonia on Sunday, and died around 1:45 a.m. ET on Monday, reports the Associated Press.
Copsidas said longtime friend Charles Bobbit was by Brown's side when he died at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Ga.
James Joseph Brown, Jr. is widely considered one of the most seminal, influential figures in 20th century music.
He had a raspy, gospel-style voiced that, combined with a horn-section that punctuated his funky, frenetic rhythms, evolved into a distinct, revolutionary style of music.
He recorded more than 50 albums and had well over 100 songs that hit the charts, including "I Got You (I Feel Good)," "(Get Up I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine" and "Out of Sight."
His classic "Say It Out Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud" became a landmark statement of racial pride when it came out in 1968.
"I clearly remember we were calling ourselves coloured, and after the song, we were calling ourselves black," Brown told the Associated Press in an interview in 2003.
"The song showed even people to that day that lyrics and music and a song can change society."
Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and won a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 1992.
Not only was he a prolific singer and songwriter, he was also a record producer, businessman and bandleader who is credited with influencing a new generation of African American music that reaches all the way to rap and hip-hop today.
"James presented obviously the best grooves," rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy once told The Associated Press.
"To this day, there has been no one near as funky. No one's coming even close."
Brown also left his mark on numerous other musical genres, including rock, jazz, reggae, disco, dance and electronic music.
And the pompadoured, flamboyant Brown also influenced many artists with his dancing. His often copied, never quite equalled, rapid-fire footwork inspired such artists as Michael Jackson, Prince and Mick Jagger.
Brown rose to success despite being born in abject poverty in Barnwell, South Carolina, in 1933. He was abandoned as a four-year-old to the care of relatives and friends and grew up on the streets of Augusta, Ga., in an "ill-repute area," as he once called it.
"I wanted to be somebody," Brown told AP.
He shot to stardom after Cincinnati's King Records signed his group, the Gospel Starlighters, to a record deal in 1956 and four months later their hit "Please, Please, Please" was in the R&B top ten.
But later on in his career, Brown ran into troubles with the law. He was arrested several times in the 1980s and 1990s and was charged with drug and weapons possession.
His wife, Adrienne Brown, died in 1996 in Los Angeles at age 47 after she took the drug PCP and several prescription drugs while suffering from a bad heart.
More recently, Brown married his fourth wife, Tomi Raye Hynie, who one of his backup singers. The couple had a son, James Jr.
Posted 25 December 2006 - 01:33 PM
Posted 25 December 2006 - 02:35 PM
" Winning isn't everything; its the only thing"
RIP Uncle Bob 5/12/06
Posted 26 December 2006 - 07:29 PM
The "Godfather" is now in Heaven lending his voice to the angels!
"You must show no mercy nor have any belief
whatsoever in how others judge you ,
For your greatness will silence them all !"