James Brown "The Godfather Of Soul" dies on Christmas day aged 73
Singing legend James Brown, known the world over as the "Godfather of Soul," died early on Christmas morning in Atlanta; he was 73. Brown had been hospitalized at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday, initially for severe pneumonia, and passed away from conjunctive heart failure around 1:45 a.m. Monday morning.
One of the biggest influences and innovators of music, Brown almost singlehandedly brought soul music to the fore in the mid-20th century, forever changing the landscape of pop music within the United States as well as the world. His hit singles included "Please, Please, Please," "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag," "I Got You (I Feel Good)," and "Say It Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud"; he even had a major hit as late as 1987 with "Living in America." Known as "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business," Brown weathered notorious problems with drug and alcohol abuse, including a two-year prison stint for aggravated assault. Still, Brown's unabashedly energetic influence and outrageous style, which affected performers from Mick Jagger to Prince, continued unabated, and he continued performing throughout his career; three days before his death, he stated that he had planned to perform at on New Year's Eve at B.B. King Blues Club in New York. Brown is survived by his fourth wife, Tomi Raye Hynie, and their son, James Jr.