Monday, December 25, 2006

Rest in peace to "The Godfather of soul"

James Brown didn't play music. He didn't make music. He invented it.

Brown, the pioneering rock-soul-funkmeister who has rung every note out of every one of his classic hits, from "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" to "I Got You (I Feel Good)," died today on Christmas at a hospital in Atlanta.
Brown was hospitalized Sunday with pneumonia, his management company said. The entertainer was said to have passed away at about 1:45 a.m. Monday at age 73.

According to Intrigue Music's Website, Brown was scheduled to perform a concert at the Count Basie Theater in New Jersey next weekend—he didn't come by his nickname, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, cheaply.

The Godfather of Soul was another of Brown's nicknames. He didn't come by that one cheaply, either.

"Music is usually on the two and four, but I changed it to the one and three," Brown told E! Online in 2000. "I invented that beat."

Brown put his signature beat to use in "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," "The Payback," and "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)," to reel off four more of his 100-plus hits on the R&B charts, most of which made Billboard's overall singles chart, too.

With legend status came the spoils: the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in 1992; the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in 1993; and the Kennedy Center Honor, presented in 2003, the same year as his 70th birthday.
One of Brown's biggest honors comes without a plaque or trophy—only with the respect of rappers, who regarded the performer as a forefather of their genre.

radio-friendly hits began in the mid 1960s with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," for which he won the first of his two competitive Grammys, and continued with nary an interruption until the mid 1970s. Brown was too busy making records and donning capes in concert to do much else but music. Still, he made his big-screen mark as the Reverend Cleophus James in 1980's The Blues Brothers and the smash-up comedy's 1998 sequel, The Blues Brothers 2000.

In 1985, James Brown stormed back up the charts with a cut written for and performed in Rocky IV, "Living in America." The song brought Brown his second competitive Grammy.

No comments: