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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.


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Jim Beam    

find one woman he beat who would say a bad thing about him.
that alone says a lot. people don't think with their brains anymore.
they make snap judgements based on what they were taught, and
they treat life like a multiple choice pop-quiz. The man had problems.
Domestic abuse is terrible, but not unforgivable. Especially if the 2 people
involved have forgiven each other. If they have solved their problems in
private, then we in public no longer have the right to give punishment,
let alone hold judgement. Do we? Honestly? A man should never put
his hands on a woman to cause her harm. But worse happens every day,
and we as a society, turn a blind eye and would rather not know. He served
his time and he dealt with those demons. If he was remorseless that would be another matter. But he tried to make up for it all.
And the drugs matter? Laughable. I know for a fact that most of you reading this hold someone in very high regard, and that someone has a secret problem with drug abuse. The most you can do is hope they find help. That is, if you are interested in more than just sitting on your moral high horses, for the sake of making you feel better and look taller. The man is gone. He is beyond care of what you think of him. And the only one who's judgements cound now, are God's. So go on and run him down, now that he's in the ground. For all the good it will do. And the good it will do is : none.

2767 days ago


He certainly was the originator,the innovater, one a kind.And just look what day he was taken from us on. If anybody has earned the right to rest in peace it would have to be the godfather of soul.Gone but will never be forgotten.Will miss you my broher.

2767 days ago


It saddens me that an icon like this passes away, and only generates 69 comments to date, yet a no-talent like Britney Spears files for divorce and that generates over 1000.

I don't think anyone is seeking to airbrush over his personal problems, but he is not the first to abuse drugs or hit a woman and sadly he will not be the last. However his failings as a human being should not detract from his achievements, not only in music, but in helping people to aspire to greatness.

2767 days ago


I've never been into beating women and put much thought into for that matter. But if hear one advocate of womens bashing on this man on his day of passing I willing to give it try. I bet not one person that said something negative about Mr. Brown has or has ever had the guts to stand in front of him look him in the eye voice that non-sense. If you do have the guts look the man in the eyes tell him what you think and he doesn't knock all your teeth down your throat with one pop to the mouth I'll be glad to do it for him. Let the brother transition to next level in peace.James if your up their and I know you are I'd like to shake your hand right after Ipass through the pearly gates.Rest in peace my brother! Hater's would ya'll all try to get something remotely resembles a life please.

2767 days ago


A musical legend indeed, ......what musician in today's world is without sin, not condoning, just mentioning...........give it a rest......Remember this man's talent, not the sin.
Nemaste' James Brown

2767 days ago


#21 i am not a moran, i have class, who the hell would want to lick the bottom of that gorilla's shoes, maybe you, you moran. that was not singing, it was shouting, screaming, he was a human but looked like an animal so there
i have a right to my opinion and he was horrible even looking at his pic here is so offensive

2767 days ago



2767 days ago

Lenn K    

#68 thats what he did to the women in his life. It doesn't take guts to beat a woman, it takes guts to walk away. Because a man makes music doesn't give him the license to hurt women or abuse drugs and we look the other way because we like his music. If the mailman abused women you wouldn't defend that would you? James Brown was a great artist who abused women and drugs over a long period of time!

2767 days ago


I remember Mr. Brown when he used to give parties at the Jamaica Estates in Queens, New York. I was a teenager then, and when I learned of how he abused his wife and other females my perspective of him drastically changed. Yes, Mr. Brown was an exceptional music artist, however, it does not excuse the fact that he abused another Human Being. Whether or not he rests in peace is irrelative at this point. Like so many other tormented spirits, he will get to do it all over again. So, Mr. Brown, welcome back to planet earth to learn the true meaning of how to cultivate genuine love, peace, unity and harmony.

2767 days ago

common sense    

So we say ta-ta to another drug addicted 'Monkey'. What can I say except, "I feel GOOD!".

2766 days ago


To poster #81 (Michael) -- You might think that Mr. Brown was a "low-life parasite", but to millions of people around the world, he is an American icon. The man was not perfect, but neither are any of us. We all have our faults. We don't know the intricacies of Mr. Brown's personal life, just what is reported in the news.

I am so glad that you are a PERFECT human being, able to judge others mercilessly. It quite obvious that you have ascended to the level of Christ himself, because He was the only man, that is, until YOU came along, to live a sinless life.

I have more respect for a REAL man like James Brown, flaws and all, than someone like you, who puts himself self on a pedestal and judges others.

2766 days ago

common sense    

@84. "I have more respect for a REAL man like James Brown, flaws and all, than someone like you, who puts himself self on a pedestal and judges others."

Did Jesus have anymore right to put himself (or yourself for that matter) to put themself on a pedastal in order to judge anothers' opinion?

You best best get back to your bible, and self-flagilate yourself!

2766 days ago

common sense    


"I am so glad that you are a PERFECT human being, able to judge others mercilessly."

Are you? If you are, then why are here on such an infamous, sinfull site?

Shouldn't you be spending the day being reading your Bible?

2766 days ago

June Bradford    

James Brown, Godfather of soul, truly he will be missed. JAB

2766 days ago

LATINA LOVER and loving it    

To 83# your ho momma must have suck that monkey dick ha ha ha ha ha hah a ha ha ha ha...That is what you and your people love to do!!! Is that why your name is ding dong momma sucked your ding dong too ha ha ha ha hah aha ha save that sh*t your here writing to d. duke

R.I.P ding dong

2766 days ago
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