Posted by themusicsover on December 25, 2009
May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006
James Brown was an R&B performer like no other. So much so, that he earned the honor of having three equally fitting nicknames over the course of his career: The Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother Number One, Mr. Dynamite, and The Hardest Working Man In Show Business. Brown had a childhood that most either wouldn’t survive, would live on the streets or end up in prison. Brown ended up doing the two latter. At 16, he ended up imprisoned for armed robbery. While incarcerated, he sang and danced to entertain the guards and fellow inmates. In 1952, a young R&B performer by the name of Bobby Byrd happened upon Brown’s “act” while playing in a softball game against the inmates. Byrd was so impressed by Brown, that he helped arrange for his early parole and guided his career over the next twenty years. Over the course of his career, Brown not only released a staggering amount of hit records – the most R&B charting than anyone else in history – but also delivered one of popular music’s most dynamic concert experiences. His influence is undeniable…Prince, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson and M.C. Hammer are but a few that learned a thing or two from Brown. Records like “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” “Cold Sweat,” “I Got You, (I Feel Good),” and “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine” are still played regularly on radio and at parties and generally never fail to fill up the dance floor. On December 25, 2006, James Brown died of congestive heart failure brought on by pneumonia. Not one to ever complain if he was ill – and oftentimes performed when he was – Brown’s death came as a shock to those who knew him. Even at 73, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business had concerts lined up in the following weeks.
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