Soul legend James Brown has died today (December 25) after being admitted to the Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta suffering with severe pneumonia.
His agent Frank Copsidas confirmed that the 73-year-old singer and songwriter passed away at 1.45am local time (6.45am UK time).
According to Copsidas the singer first became aware that he was seriously ill when he visited his dentist at the weekend.
“On Friday (December 22) he had his toy giveaway, which is his annual toy giveaway in Augusta, Georgia,” the agent told the BBC World Service. “On Saturday, he went to his dentist up in Atlanta, and his dentist told him something was wrong, and he sent him to a doctor immediately.”
The singer died with his long term friend Charles Bobbit at his bedside.
“He was dramatic to the end – dying on Christmas Day,” observed human rights campaigner Rev Jesse Jackson, a friend of Brown‘s since 1955. “Almost a dramatic, poetic moment. He’ll be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way.”
Brown, famously dubbed ‘The Godfather Of Soul’ was responsible for both siesmic events in soul: being at the birth of both R&B and funk.
Subsequently his records became one of the most sampled ever by rap artists. His most famous and influential songs include ‘Sex Machine’, ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’, ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ and ‘Make It Funky’. His ‘Live At The Apollo’ (1963) album is considered to be one of the greatest live albums ever.
The star was born in 1933 in South Carolina.
Brown continued to perform and tour right up until his death.
He recently appeared in London at the BBC Electric Proms at the newly opened Roundhouse venue.
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