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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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Previous 15 Comments | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
121.

Tommie    

TO #80/81-MICHAEL AND #83

I DIDN'T KNOW YOU TWO RETARTED PEOPLE KNEW HOW TO TYPE. WOW! I ALWAYS KNEW THAT YOU ALL WERE DUMB AND NOT CAPABLE OF COMPREHENDING AND THINKING LIKE HUMANS, BUT I SURE DIDN'T KNOW THAT YOU TWO RETARDS COULD TYPE. WOW!!!!!!!

2772 days ago
122.

L.S    

he was a UGLY wife beater LOOSER

2772 days ago
123.

Hayward Ervin    

A star was born, that star was James Brown, he never forgot where he came from. I live in the area of his home, Beech Island, SC. He always would stop and talk to you, he never thought he was above anyone, James Brown was Mr Dyamite, His greatest hits came from the record label "king Label" was this a coincidence? The King of Soul. He has put many smiles on every walk of life (kids and Adults) during Thanksgiving and Christmas. He was a professional in the music industry. There will never be another James Brown, He set the stage for the music industry, God bless you James Brown, I will never forget you, H.E.New Ellenton,S.C.

2772 days ago
124.

Tommie    

JAMES BROWN-The true original pioneer of soul. A man that said to the world through his music "SAY IT LOUD, I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD", which became an anthem and it empowered Black people all over the world. A true legend if there ever was one because there can only be one "GODFATHER OF SOUL" and we were blessed to have him in our lifetime.

2772 days ago
125.

Tommie    

I have always loved me some James Brown. Nobody could dance and move his legs the way James Brown did. James if you can read this (YOU WERE THE BEST) and don't listen to some of these ignorant White racist devils on here because you know that what they say don't mean a hill of beans. What they say means about as much as someone talking to a wall. We will always keep you alive through our memories and through your music and Thank You for giving us your all and we will always "SAY IT LOUD" we're Black and you made us proud.
Sleep well, my Godfather!!

2772 days ago
126.

Mita    

I grew up on James Brown. Such songs as "Hot pants, Get on the Good foot." I know beyond he will be on the Good Foot searching for those Hot Pants. We will miss you.....rest on Godfather.

2772 days ago
127.

MARQUIS JAMES    

GOD BLESS MR.JAMES BROWN... HE WILL TRULY BE MISSED... HIS MUSIC LIVES ON THROUGH ALL OF US... SO LETS CELEBRATE HIS LIFE AND WHAT HE STOOD FOR... "SAY IT LOUD"..."IM BLACK AND IM' PROUD'
'

2769 days ago
128.

LINDA HADDLESEY    

rest in peace

2767 days ago
129.

Toni    

James had more life in him, than life itself. He was a very energetic man for his age.He is one of my most memorable arist and I am sad that he is gone.

2765 days ago
130.

Don Borchardt    

great artist, however no respect for law and order, a criminal who made it big.

2755 days ago
131.

djkck    

Mr.Brown you are and will always be the best.......... i remember coming to the show in Fort Wayne Indiana the show was so good it had to be stop, because so many people were trying to get on stage to see and touch him, everthing finally com down and the was back on it was the best show i ever seen, the same thing happen with the jackson 5 , great show they were, i will never forget Mr.James Brown..................Rest In Peace...................... djkck

2750 days ago
132.

joe    

ITS A SHAME A UNIVERSAL TALENT LIKE JAMES BROWN AND IT TAKES MONTHS TO BURY HIM.NOW I GUESS IT WILL BE LIKE AN ANNA NICOLE CIRCUS FOR ANY ASSETS HE HAS . I STILL CANT BELIEVE THE DISRESPECT THEY SHOWED THIS ICON OF OUR TIMES .SHAME ON YOU ALL ASSOCIATED WITH HIM.

2690 days ago
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