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James Brown

Jamesbrown.jpg

Miami Vice Character
Miami Vice Performer
Born
May 3, 1933, Barnwell, South Carolina
Died
December 25, 2006, Atlanta, Georgia (age 73, complications from pneumonia)
Active
1956-2006
Spouse(s)/Children
Velma Warden (1953-1969, divorced), three children
Deidre "Deedee" Jenkins (1970-1981, divorced), two cildren
Adrienne Rodriguez (1984-1996, her death)
Four children from previous relationships


James Jose Brown, Jr. (May 3, 1933 - December 25, 2006) was an American R&B singer/songwriter/composer and occasional actor, known as The Godfather of Soul and The Hardest Working Man In Show Business, who appeared as Lou DeLong, a R&B legend who was shilling Astrolife (and part of an alien conspiracy), and his song "I Got You (I Feel Good)" appeared in the episode "Missing Hours" of the series Miami Vice.

For more details about James Brown's music career, see the Wikipedia article James Brown.

Career

Brown's career spanned six decades, and influenced several generations of rock, soul, R&B, hip-hop, and urban artists. His reputation as "The Hardest Working Man In Show Business" set a work ethic that has been unequaled. Brown's first single was released in 1956 as part of a group, The Famous Flames ("Please, Please, Please", which reached #6 on the Billboard R&B chart), but had minor success until 1958's "Try Me" was a #1 R&B hit, the first of seventeen #1 R&B hits over the next two decades. Brown would have solo success in the 1960s, with his first Top 10 singles on the Hot 100, "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" (which won a Grammy for best R&B Recording in 1966) and "I Got You (I Feel Good)". In 1967 Brown released "Cold Sweat", recognized by several sources as "the first true funk song", as his vocals acquired a rhythmical beat, which is the genesis for the rap and hip-hop genres that would come along toward the end of Brown's career (his song "Funky Drummer" is the most sampled single of hip-hop artist, and Brown is the most sampled artist of all time). In 1970 the Famous Flames disbanded and Brown formed The J.B.'s, which would be his backing band during half of the decade, but by the mid 1970s most of his backing band with to funk master George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, and Brown's star power began to wane. In the 1980s Brown turned to acting, appearing in The Blues Brothers (and its' sequel, Blues Brothers 2000), Doctor Detroit, and Rocky IV (which contained the Grammy-winning song "Living in America") and his career was revitalized. Brown was then sent to prison on weapons and assaulting a police officer charge in 1988 and served three years of a six year prison term. After his release, Brown jumped right back into performing and occasional acting, up to the time of his death. As of 2012, Brown had 91 Billboard Hot 100 singles, third all time and second only to Elvis Presley's 108 all-time for a male solo act.

Personal Life/Death

Brown was married three times; to Velma Warden from 1953 until their 1969 divorce, to Deidre "Deedee" Jenkins from 1970 until their 1981 divorce, and Adrienne Rodriguez from 1984 until her death in 1996. Brown was involved with Tomi Rae Hynie from 2001-2004, claims of an actual marriage are disputed to this day. Brown has nine children from his marriages and relationships.

Brown had become ill in late 2006 but didn't stop his schedule. He finally checked into an Atlanta hospital on Christmas Eve, 2006, with plans to get checked out and perform in New York on New Year's Eve, but instead his health problems worsened and Brown died on Christmas Day, 2006, from complications of pneumonia at the age of 73. The Apollo Theatre held his memorial service.

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