JAMES BROWN DIED ON DEC. 25, 2006
Grammy-winning singer James Brown died at age 73. According to early reports, the singer died of complications due to pneumonia.
James Brown unarguably belongs among the top echelon of influential musicians of the last 60 years. What Chuck Berry and the Beatles were to rock and roll, James Brown was to soul, funk, disco, and even rap/hip-hop. He was one of the original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. James Brown’s passion in performance earned him the well-deserved moniker “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.”
The self-proclaimed “Godfather of Soul” riveted generations with his sweaty onstage performances. It could very well be said that Brown’s notorious stage shows also influenced future musicians in the spectacle and energy level of the show itself in addition to the actual music.
James Brown grew up in abject poverty and worked his way to the top of his industry. He was a survivor: overcoming racism, personal tragedy, and his own self-destructive habits. Through all his travails, James Brown’s fan base never deserted him, as he was one of those rare individuals in the public eye who could always make it through the bad times with an inner dignity and pride that was admirable if not empathetic.
The singer’s many hit records include the landmark "Say It Out Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud," "Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag," "It’s a Man’s Man’s World," "Sex Machine," "Living in America," and "I Got You (I Feel Good)." So impacting and enjoyable was his music that his oeuvre can be found spread across the soundtracks of over 100 feature films (international, as well as American).
James Brown also acted in films such as: The Blues Brothers, Doctor Detroit, Rocky IV, and The Blues Brothers 2000. There will be many imitators, but never again will we ever hear—or see—another James Brown.