Legendary Singer James Brown Dies at 73
"Godfather of Soul" James Brown, Whose Singing and Dancing Inspired Generations, Dies at 73.
James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose revolutionary rhythms, rough voice and flashing footwork influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap, died early Christmas morning. He was 73.
Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia
at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday Dec 25th, 2006 and died of heart failure around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music.
He initially seemed fine at the hospital and even told people that he planned to be on stage in New York on New Year"s Eve, Copsidas said.
Brown was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. From Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson, David Bowie to Public Enemy, Brown"s rapid-footed dancing, hard-charging beats and heartfelt yet often unintelligible vocals changed the musical landscape. He was to rhythm and dance music what Bob Dylan was to lyrics.
"He was an innovator, he was an emancipator, he was an originator. Rap music, all that stuff came from James Brown," entertainer Little Richard, a longtime friend of Brown"s, told MSNBC.
"James Brown changed music," said Rev. Al Sharpton, who toured with him in the 1970s and imitates his hairstyle to this day.
"He made soul music a world music," Sharpton said. "What James Brown was to music in terms of soul and hip-hop, rap, all of that is what Bach was to classical music. This is a guy who literally changed the music industry. He put everybody on a different beat, a different style of music. He pioneered it."
Brown"s classic singles include "Papa"s Got A Brand New Bag", "I Got You (I Feel Good)," and "Say It Loud I"m Black and I"m Proud," a landmark 1968 statement of racial pride.
"I clearly remember we were calling ourselves colored, and after the song, we were calling ourselves black," Brown told The Associated Press in 2003. "The song showed even people to that day that lyrics and music and a song can change society."
He won a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 1992, as well as Grammys in 1965 for "Papa"s Got a Brand New Bag" (best R&B recording) and for "Living In America" in 1987 (best R&B vocal performance, male.) He was one of the initial artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and other founding fathers.