James Brown

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James Brown
James Brown
Brown performing in Hamburg, Germany, February 1973
Birthday/Birthplace James Joseph Brown
(1933-05-03)May 3, 1933
Barnwell, South Carolina, U.S.
Deceased December 25, 2006(2006-12-25)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Cause of death Congestive heart failure, complicated by pneumonia
Citizenship American
Other names James Brown and the Famous Flames
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
  • musician
  • record producer
  • bandleader
  • Tomi Rae Hynie
    (m. 2001; annulled 2004)
  • Adrienne Rodriguez
    (m. 1984; d. 1996)
  • Deidre Jenkins
    (m. 1970; div. 1981)
  • Velma Warren
    (m. 1953; div. 1969)
Kid(s) 9, possibly 13 (see below)
Musical career
  • Funk
  • soul
  • rhythm and blues
  • Vocals
  • organ
  • drums
  • harmonica
  • guitar
Active Years
  • 1953–1988
  • 1991–2006
Record Labels
  • Federal
  • King
  • Try Me
  • Smash
  • People
  • Polydor
  • Scotti Bros.
Worked with
  • The Famous Flames
  • The J.B.’s
  • The Dapps
  • Bobby Byrd
  • Lyn Collins
  • Bobby Bennett
  • Bootsy Collins
Official Website jamesbrown.com

James Joseph Brown (Barnwell, South Carolina, May 3, 1933 – Atlanta, Georgia, December 25, 2006) was an American soul, funk and rock singer, considered the godfather of soul.

The Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him seventh (7th) in his list of The 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

James Brown’s Biography

He was born on May 3, 1933 on a farm in Barnwell, South Carolina, in the bosom of a poor family in a slum. This forced him to play all kinds of jobs since he was a teenager (15 years old). Abandoned by his mother, Brown grew up with his father, a traveling worker, until he ended up in Augusta (Georgia), where an aunt ran an inn that also functioned as a timba and a brothel. Barely educated, the Brown boy tried to make a living cleaning shoes, picking cotton and stealing pieces of cars. Before turning twenty he had already been arrested for armed robbery and was sentenced to serve between 8 and 16 years in prison (according to him, he was still a minor, but he was imprisoned and tried when he reached the criminal age ). He was a good prisoner and, after three years and one day, he was released and spent more than three years in a reformatory. It was then that he was welcomed by the family of Bobby Byrd, the singer who launched him to stardom. They shared stages in the group The Famous Flames.

Musical career

In 1953 he joined the gospel group The Starlighters. With him in the group they were transforming from the gospel to the R & B. Later the name of the group became The Famous Flames. In 1955 they published the single “Please, Please, Please”, while in 1958 the first number one of James Brown, “Try Me” was released. On October 24, 1962, they gave a concert at the Apollo theater in New York, published the following year on the LP “Live at the Apollo” in which drummer Clayton Fillyau participated, who advanced on topics such as “I’ve Got Money “the percussive contrarhythms (influenced by the style of the R & B drummers from New Orleans) that would be a hallmark of Brown.

As of that moment, the successes began to accumulate in his career, with titles like “I’ll Go Crazy” where he played jazz, “Think” (an ideal song to dance ‘Monkey’ and ‘Shake’ ), “Shout and Shimmy” and “Prisoner of Love”. Already consolidated as one of the brightest and most explosive stars of soul music, it was not until 1965 when “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” does something really original. The highlight of the rhythm on the melody, a muscular bassline by Bernard Odum, syncopated strings and the guitar strum of Jimmy Nolan (former guitarist of the great white artist of the R & B of the 40s and 50s, Johnny Otis) bridge were noted in this composition and also in “Cold Sweat” of 1967; massively disclosing the concept of funk, already somewhat premonized by the syncopated works of New Orleans-born drummers such as Cornelius ‘Tenoo’ Coleman (for Fats Domino), Earl Palmer (who played for one of his idols and maximum influences, Little Richard among others).

The funk was a real breath of fresh air against the sweet music for people of color back then (doo wop and Motown style), and also a rescue of the heritage of the urban acidity of jazz and the polyrhythm of Afro-Cuban rhythms such as rumba and mambo. In fact, as James Brown’s musician Pee Wee Ellis says, in the documentary “Soul Deep,” the Cold Sweat line of winds “was based on a line from a cool jazz track called ‘So What?’ of Miles Davis “.

James Brown with Lars Jacob in Tampa in 1972

Also relevant was the energizing effect in his music of the civil rights movements of the 1960s; as he very well represented it in his 1968 hit “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”, a statement of black pride that, nevertheless, earned him his censure on the part of many racist radio stations. After separating from the group with which he made himself known, The Famous Flames, for monetary and coexistence reasons; James Brown began in 1969 to perform with a younger band originally called The Pacemakers, and he himself would rechristened them as The JB’s , with whom he delved deeper into rhythmic and sonorous explorations. , putting even more emphasis on the first of 4 bars (the funky formula par excellence called The One) with the help of the musicians Phelps and Bootsy Collins, the trombonist Fred Wesley, the saxophonist Maceo Parker and his brother on drums, Melvin Parker . Bootsy, Fred and Maceo later joined the space brotherhood of George Clinton known as P-Funk.

With this new lineup Brown continued to achieve new hits: “Sex Machine” which was # 1 R & B in 1970, “The Payback”, multi-platinum certified album in 1974, “My Thang”, “Gravity”, “Papa Don”Take No Mess “and” Body Heat “among others.

In his escapades with the cinema, he participated in 1980 in the film “The Blues Brothers”, together with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, working later in 1998 in the sequel to the film “Blues Brothers 2000”. In both, he represented the Reverend Cleophus James. In 1986 he recorded “Living in America”, the theme song for the movie “Rocky IV”.

In 1988 he was arrested for speeding and drug use, a period that was used by Hip Hop producers to sample pieces of his music. He was sentenced to six years in prison, although he was released from prison in 1991. In 1996 his wife died during an operation of cosmetic surgery and in 1998 he was arrested again for possession of weapons and drug use, a few days after leaving. of a detoxification clinic.

Gender violence

He was singled out by his daughter Yamma Brown in his book “Cold Sweat: My Father James Brown and Me” for beating his mother, the singer’s second wife named Deirdre Jenkin. They were married between 1970 and 1979 and their daughter details how her father beat her mother regularly in their room and how she blamed everything, mistreating her psychologically.

He also beat his third wife, Adrienne Rodrieguez, and was arrested multiple times for this. He was arrested a total of four times between 1987 and 1995 for this and finally divorced in 1996. In 2001 he married singer Tomi Rae Hynie, and in January 2004 he pushed her to the floor during an argument at home, causing scratches and bruises on his right arm and waist. Later, in June of the same year, James Brown decided before the justice of his country that he was not going to refute the charges of domestic violence and did not spend time in jail for that reason. Instead, Brown was required to lose a bonus of $ 1,087 as punishment.

Last years

His last two live performances were in San Francisco, on August 20, 2006 at the Foggfest festival and at the Roundhouse in London on October 27, 2006. In November 2006, a month before his death, Brown was presented during a ceremony in Alexandra Palace, in London, where he was recognized with his entrance to the UK Hall of Fame, 20 years after receiving a similar tribute in the United States. Finally, on Sunday December 24, 2006, Brown, the self-proclaimed “most hard-working man in the world of entertainment,” is admitted to Emory Crawford Long Hospital, Atlanta, because of pneumonia that afflicted him. Despite the attempts of the doctors, the heart of the “Godfather of the Soul” stopped beating in the early morning of Christmas 2006 at 1.45 AM, at the age of 73 years. His friend and companion Charles Bobbit was with him at the time of his death. Brown maintained at that time, according to his wife, a happy marital relationship with her. When he died, the singer was undergoing rehabilitation treatment: “The last thing he said was that he loved me and the baby, we’ll see each other soon”, were the last words of James, according to his widow told the Augusta Chronicle .

James Brown Net Worth – $10 Million

James Brown’s Salary – $3 Million

More Facts about James Brown

The James Brown’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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