The Godfather of Soul Takes His Act Heavenward

James Brown, arguably the funkiest performer in the music business, has made his final encore, passing away at the age of seventy-three on Christmas day.

James Brown, the legendary R&B belter, a singer and songwriter who created a foundation for funk and provided the roots of rap, a man of many nicknames but a talent that can only be described as one of a kind, is dead. Brown died early Monday at Atlanta’s Emory Crawford Long Hospital of congestive heart failure, his agent said. He was 73. Brown was in Atlanta for a dental appointment when he fell ill and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend for treatment of “severe pneumonia,” said his agent, Frank Copsidas. “It appears what happened is that he did die of a heart attack as a result of his pneumonia,” Copsidas told CNN Radio. Brown — known variously as “the Godfather of Soul,” “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” “Soul Brother Number One” and “Mr. Dynamite” (and often introduced as all of the above) — was known for his elastic dance moves, razor-sharp musicianship and all-stops-out performances.

For those of you who didn’t know, he was just as entertaining off-stage as on. Seriously, though, rest in peace, dude. Those are some impossible shoes to fill.

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

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Tags: R.I.P.