Legendary 'Godfather Of Soul' James Brown passes away at 73
James Joseph Brown, Jr. (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006), commonly referred to as "The Godfather of Soul", was an American entertainer recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th-century popular music.
As a prolific singer, songwriter, bandleader and record producer, Brown was a seminal force in the evolution of gospel and rhythm and blues into soul and funk. He left his mark on numerous other musical genres, including rock, jazz, reggae, disco, dance and electronic music, afrobeat, and hip-hop music.
Brown began his professional music career in 1953 and skyrocketed to fame in the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his thrilling live performances and a string of smash hits. In spite of various personal problems and setbacks, he continued to score hits in every decade through the 1980s. In the 1960s and 1970s Brown was a presence in American political affairs, noted especially for his activism on behalf of African Americans and the poor (as well as his outspoken support for Richard Nixon).
Brown was recognized by a plethora of (mostly self-bestowed) titles, including Soul Brother Number One, Mr. Dynamite, the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business, Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk, Mr. Please Please Please, The Boss, and the best-known, the Godfather of Soul. He was renowned for his shouting vocals, feverish dancing and unique rhythmic style. (more)