Public funeral for James Brown

And he'll lie in state at a famous venue first

A public funeral service is to be held this weekend (December 30) in Georgia for soul legend James Brown.

The 73-year-old ‘Godfather of Soul’, who died on Christmas Day (December 25), will first lie in state at New York‘s world famous Apollo Theatre on Thursday (December 28). The singer recorded one of the classic live albums at the Harlem venue in the Sixties.

Brown‘s public funeral is then due to take place on Saturday at 1300 local time (1800 GMT) in a 8,500-seat arena in the city of Augusta, reports the BBC.

Reverend Al Sharpton, a close friend of Brown‘s, will conduct the service.

A separate, private service for family and friends will be held a day earlier, on Friday (December 29), at an unspecified location.

Brown died from heart failure less than 48 hours after being taken to hospital with pneumonia. He also had diabetes and prostate cancer, which was in remission.

Meanwhile director Spike Lee is to make a film about the late US star, with Brown having already approved the use of his music on the soundtrack before his passing.

According to Variety, the project is being overseen by Brian Grazer, the Oscar-winning producer of ‘A Beautiful Mind’, with production likely to begin in 2008.

Read more on James Brown‘s life now.

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