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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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61.

MIKO BABE    

*
The
Music
Will
Live
On !

2798 days ago
62.

ms.hammer 2    

what a tragic loss, i totally agree with the comment that was made--------------------------- go to the next level--------------- peace in your transition, that was well said who ever you are, gerald levert and now james brown, and on christmas day, well another have been born, PEACE BE WITH JAMES BROWN FAMILY, REST IN PEACE MY MAN

2798 days ago
63.

Suzanne Moore    

He is such an ICON. Like Madonna.he is great.

2798 days ago
64.

ZMT    

JAMES BROWN ,THE TRUE SOUL MAN .YOU INSPIRED AFRICAN AMERICANS AND EUROPEAN AMERICANS TO MAKE IT FUNKY AND SPREAD IT ALL OVER THE GLOBE. BE COOL IN HEAVEN. DON'T START NOTHING!
THANK YOU!

2798 days ago
65.

coco puff    

I feel dead, dah dah, dah dah, dah dah, dah! I feeeeeeel dead, dah dah, dah dah, dah dah, dah! So dead, do do, so dead, do, I'm worm food! Dah dah dah, dah dah! You wouldn't let me use your bathroom so now I'm gonna piss on your grave!!!

2798 days ago
66.

navi    

To the posters who are bashing Mr. Brown, like poster # 42 and others, it is obvious that you never knew or met this man. I met him and his late wife Adrienne, who loved him dearly. He had his faults, yes, but James Brown was a generous man (ask the many kids he helped around Christmas every year, for one), he was a peacemaker (preventing a horrible race riot about to explode in Augusta in May 1970), and his influence on popular music is unmatched by any other artist in history.

He also lifted up an entire generation of young Blacks with his anthem, "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud", during a time when Blacks were struggling against institutionalized racism in America, one year before Dr. King was assassinated.

Those of you who choose to look at Mr. Brown's flaws only, should look at your own life, and think about how it would look if your sins were broadcast on the front page of newspapers. Would you be able to continue to stand, make amends, and move on with your life the way Mr. Brown did? It takes character and diligence to do that, and people like poster # 42 do not have these character traits.

Mr. Brown is the true American dream - he rose from absolute poverty and a racist society to becoming a major cultural influence and icon, known throughout the world. Where else could a man with a 7th-grade education rise to the ranks of Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, a Kennedy Center Honors medallion recipient, and have more hits on Billboard's Top 40 chart in a 30-year period than any other human being on the planet?

To the posters like #42, and #14, #20, #22, and #23 - what have YOU done with your life??? Obviously not much, based on your ignorant and condemning attitude toward other human beings.

2798 days ago
67.

BASSMAN    

AS FOR BILLY RAY COMMENT 55...AM SURE NO ONE IS GOING TO MISS YOU...BY THE WAY GET A LIFE AND LEAVE YOUR HATE AT HOME....THERE WAS ONLY ONE JAMES BROWN AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER ONE...PEACE

2798 days ago
68.

AngelG.1    

Mr. James Brown THE Godfather of Soul - Forever!
Your music will live on and on.............And just for today #14 , I can forget that I once was an abused women , and by Gods Grace I got out with my kids and our life keeps getting better and better. That being said , I dont know how his wife handeled their situation , but James Brown did NOT abuse me, and if you only want to celebrate or morn the loss of some entertainer by that criteria , you would not care about anyone including your self, because we all have had something we are sorry for in the past. Now - can we please just be happy for one day , leave the old and work on next year of Peace and Happiness for all :)



2798 days ago
69.

Spike    

Billy Ray,
hahaha. So he wouldn't let you use his toilet.
I was fortunate enough to mix the front of house concert sound for James Brown, when he was in Toronto a few years back. The man was a great showman, and the audience truly had a great time.
However, after the show, I requested to meet "the man" backstage, I wanted to thank him for the honour. His manager went into the room, and asked if that would be possible. His response was that he didn't care to meet no honky soundman.....
I was truly hurt by that comment. I had never felt the sting of racism before, but I can understand how he might have felt, him being a black man in a white man's world.
A great musical talent, maybe not quite as great a human being. RIP JB.

2798 days ago
70.

spin sycle    

I have no respect or regard for a man who beats women. I don't care what color or walk of life they are from, they are lower than maggots. Human fraility is one thing but outright abuse and violence towards others is completely different and should never be tolerated. What if he had been of a different ethnicity? What would you think then? Remeber Ike Turner?

2798 days ago
71.

ZMT    

billy ray,you sound EVIL BOY. I WISH I COULD MOVE MY POST TO ANOTHER PAGE. ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS GO BEHIND THE TREE LIKE DOGS DO. I BET YOUR BRAIN IS FULL OF WORMS, AND YOUR BUT.I'M SURE THAT'S WHY HE DID NOT WANT YOU ON HIS TOILET,WEIRDO FREAK !

2798 days ago
72.

Gregory G. Zielinski SR.    

James Brown ,The Man , Musician ,The Legend ! As a young teen ,bopping out to What I think is James Brown's All Time best album , James Brown Live At THE Appollo VOL 2 ,has been playing all morning. As a young teen,I was turned on by the power of his awesome band,and his incredible dance moves ,and something all people have ,but mostly fail to get across ,'SOUL"---! Soul Brother Number One .THANK YOU ,PEACE !

2798 days ago
73.

SV    

#53 - MAdonna is a joke. To even mention her in the same sentence as James is an insult to his memory. She is only an icon onto only herself. And Im Italian!!

2798 days ago
74.

hughgc    

For the people who are so judgemental, know one can judge Mr.Brown other than our lord and savior. the bible say's that the lord takes care of the unjust and the just, so please don't condem people, unless you want to be judged for your sin's right now, because no one is perfect other than god. We as human being's ,have to be carefull how we speak about someone else's life. Mr.Brown will be remebered for some of the great things he did for society, like the Toy Drive, did you contribute to the needy kid's?

2798 days ago
75.

Sheldon    

Navi (post# 56),

What I have done with my life is try to be the best person I can be. To never try to hurt anyone. But having grown up in a household with an abusive man in charge, I have no sympathy for anyone who would strike another living being for no reason. And I have no respect for anyone who would overlook such cruelty simply because other aspects of a person's life can be considered admirable. If Ghandi or Martin Luther King had slapped women around while doing the works for which they had been known for, I would still condemn them.
These are all just my opinions but they are as valid as yours or any others.

2798 days ago
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