James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul,’ dies at 73

James Brown, the legendary ‘Godfather of Soul,’ who “made soul music a world music” in a hard-driving career that influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap, died Christmas morning at the age of 73. Brown, whose classic singles include “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good)” had been hospitalized over the weekend for treatment of pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. He died there early Monday of heart failure, said his agent, Frank Copsidas. “People already know his history, but I would like for them to know he was a man who preached love from the stage,” said friend Charles Bobbit, who was with Brown when he died. “His thing was ‘I never saw a person that I didn’t love.’ He was a true humanitarian who loved his country.” The entertainer with the rough-edged voice and flashy footwork also had diabetes and prostate cancer that was in remission, but he initially seemed fine at the hospital, Copsidas said. Three days before his death, he had joined volunteers at his annual toy giveaway in Augusta, and he told friends he planned to be in New York for a New Year’s Eve performance. “Last night, he said ‘I’m going to be there. I’m the hardest working man in show business,'” Copsidas said Monday. Brown won a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 1992, as well as Grammys in 1965 for “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (best R&B recording) and for “Living In America” in 1987 (best R&B vocal performance, male.)


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