[DMCForum] Goodbye JAMES BROWN, dead at 73
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[DMCForum] Goodbye JAMES BROWN, dead at 73


'Godfather of Soul' James Brown dies
ATLANTA - James Brown, the legendary singer known as the "Godfather of 
Soul," has died, his agent said early Monday. He was 73.

Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia on Sunday at Emory Crawford Long 
Hospital and died around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of 
Intrigue Music. Longtime friend Charles Bobbit was by his side, he said.

Copsidas said Brown's family was being notified of his death and that the 
cause was still uncertain. "We really don't know at this point what he died 
of," he said.

Along with Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and a handful of others, Brown was one 
of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. At least one 
generation idolized him, and sometimes openly copied him. His rapid-footed 
dancing inspired Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson among others. Songs such as 
David Bowie's "Fame," Prince's "Kiss," George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Sly 
and the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song" were clearly based on Brown's 
rhythms and vocal style.

If Brown's claim to the invention of soul can be challenged by fans of Ray 
Charles and Sam Cooke, then his rights to the genres of rap, disco and funk 
are beyond question. He was to rhythm and dance music what Dylan was to 
lyrics: the unchallenged popular innovator.

"James presented obviously the best grooves," rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy 
once told The Associated Press. "To this day, there has been no one near as 
funky. No one's coming even close."

His hit singles include such classics as "Out of Sight," "(Get Up I Feel 
Like Being a) Sex Machine," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Say It Out 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," said in a 2003 Associated Press interview. 
"The song showed even people to that day that lyrics and music and a song 
can change society."

He won a Grammy award 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 Presley, Chuck Berry and other founding fathers.

He triumphed despite an often unhappy personal life. Brown, who lived in 
Beech Island near the Georgia line, spent more than two years in a South 
Carolina prison for aggravated assault and failing to stop for a police 
officer. After his release on in 1991, Brown said he wanted to "try to 
straighten out" rock music.

>From the 1950s, when Brown had his first R&B hit, "Please, Please, Please" 
in 1956, through the mid-1970s, Brown went on a frenzy of cross-country 
tours, concerts and new songs. He earned the nickname "The Hardest Working 
Man in Show Business."

With his tight pants, shimmering feet, eye makeup and outrageous hair, Brown 
set the stage for younger stars such as Michael Jackson and Prince.

In 1986, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And rap stars of 
recent years overwhelmingly have borrowed his lyrics with a digital 
technique called sampling.

Brown's work has been replayed by the Fat Boys, Ice-T, Public Enemy and a 
host of other rappers. "The music out there is only as good as my last 
record," Brown joked in a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

"Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know 
what I'm saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of their music is me," 
he told the AP in 2003.

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