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James Brown, Godfather of Soul, Dies at 73

12/25/2006 10:49 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

James Brown, a musical giant and one of the most breathakingly dynamic performers in all of entertainment, died early Christmas morning in Atlanta at the age of 73.
James Brown
Brown, the self-described "Hardest Working Man in Show Business," was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday and died around 1:45 AM, according to his agent, Frank Copsidas. A longtime friend, Charles Bobbit, was at his side. Copsidas told the Associated Press, "We really don't know at this point what he died of."

With his unmistakable pompadour, stunningly agile dance moves, raspy vocal style, and almost superhuman on-stage energy, Brown, as much as anyone in the history of live performance, gave audiences their money's worth and much more. His gifts as a songwriter and singer, which helped earn him the title of "The Godfather of Soul," were hugely influential on the genres of funk, disco, and rap as well. His instantly recognizable hits included "I Got You (I Feel Good)," "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag," and "Say It Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud."

Brown's personal life, particularly over the last two decades, was beset with allegations of drug and alcohol abuse and domestic trouble. He spent 15 months in a South Carolina prison and 10 months in a work release program after leading police on a half-hour, PCP-fueled chase which ended with the tires of his truck being shot out. Brown recently married his fourth wife, backup singer Tomi Raye Hynie, with whom he had a young son. Brown had five children with his previous wives.

132 COMMENTS

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1.

bonnie    

WOW! What a loss to the music industry. Rest in Peace...

2673 days ago
2.

Sujet    

Yep...R.i.P James.. SUJET.CO.UK

2673 days ago
3.

j.p.    

James Brown was defentily the God Father of Music, i know he will sadly be missed. May he rest in peace. My prayers go out to him and his family.

2673 days ago
4.

Steve    

When Papa's Got a Brand New Bag came out when I was a teenager, it blew me away and changed how I listened to music. My grandson now listens to funky JB and digs it. Who knew? JB was a force!

2673 days ago
5.

Rob Schick    

James Brown said it all when he sang ...."this is a mans world... but it wouldn't be nothing...without a women to Love.."Rest in peace" Godfather of Soul.."

2673 days ago
6.

Glunp    

Rest In Peace. He truly was a great man, so innovative music and stile. He will be remembered forever.

2673 days ago
7.

al-fallujah    

give them hell james

2673 days ago
8.

Peg    

What a loss. He will be dearly missed. Peace be with you, James.

2673 days ago
9.

Rick Stanley    

A genius talent.
A pair of shoes that will never be filled - ever.
His generosity was the stuff of legend.
His Bands were some of the greatest in History.
He was an amazing talent scout.
The Godfather Of Soul.
Rest In Heavenly Peace JB.

2673 days ago
10.

ZMT    

SAY IT LOUD ! I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD !
THANK YOU MR, BROWN. YOU WERE BORN TO SAY IT LOUD.
GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL NOW...................PEACE IN YOUR TRANSITION

2673 days ago
11.

Duke    

This is a sad day for the music industry. "God Bless"

2673 days ago
12.

navi    

I grew up in Augusta and met Mr. Brown on several occasions. He was definitely an original and innovative musician, and his influence on music is no less than earth-shattering. Every single rap artist throughout the world and tons of singers, such as Michael Jackson and Prince, owe it all to James Brown.

He will be missed by all of us...

2673 days ago
13.

Jon    

Rest in peace james!

2673 days ago
14.

Jennifer    

The Godfather of Soul legacy lives on!!

You were a living legend who was loved and died
doing what you love best -- entertaining!

Thank you for your genius, passion for life and self-love.

After 6 decades in show business, may you rest in peace..

2673 days ago
15.

Manny Mo    

James Brown was a super entertainer, musician and artist. His early life struggles are incredible to hear about. Long live James Brown in my memories and in his great great funky music!

2673 days ago
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