James Brown

James Brown

James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. The central progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century music, he is often referred to by the honorific nicknames "Godfather of Soul", "Mr. Dynamite", and "Soul Brother No. 1"

A shrewd and ruthless bandleader and businessman, Brown demanded perfection from his backup singers and musicians.

"Live at the Apollo" proved Brown's greatest album release and commercial success yet, peaking at No. 2 on the pop albums chart and firmly establishing his crossover appeal.

Throughout the 1970s, Brown continued to perform ceaselessly and recorded several more hits, most notably "Sex Machine" and "Get Up Offa That Thing." His career fell off during the late 1970s but James made an inspired comeback with a multifaceted performance in the classic 1980 film The Blues Brothers. His 1985 song "Living in America," featured prominently in Rocky IV, was his biggest hit in decades.

Brown passed away on December 25, 2006, after a weeklong battle with pneumonia. He was 73 years old.