-- James Brown, July 2, 2006, UK Independent
Legendary Singer James Brown Dies at 73 - James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap, funk and disco as well, died early Monday, his agent said. He was 73.
Along with Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and a handful of others, Brown was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. At least one generation idolized him, and sometimes openly copied him. His rapid-footed dancing inspired Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson among others. Songs such as David Bowie's "Fame," Prince's "Kiss," George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Sly and the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song" were clearly based on Brown's rhythms and vocal style.
If Brown's claim to the invention of soul can be challenged by fans of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, then his rights to the genres of rap, disco and funk are beyond question. He was to rhythm and dance music what Dylan was to lyrics: the unchallenged popular innovator.
"James presented obviously the best grooves," rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy once told The Associated Press. "To this day, there has been no one near as funky. No one's coming even close."
His hit singles include such classics as "Out of Sight," "(Get Up I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Say It Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud," a landmark 1968 statement of racial pride.
I couldn't believe when i woke up this morning turned on the radio to hear the Godfather Of Soul had died. I'm geniunely saddened by his death. Yeah, I'm gay, so what? I ain't no poofster tryin' to polish my halo, either. I loved James Brown. I've busted moves to his choons countless times and worshipped his music!
That man was still working as hard as the day he came into the music business. Never thought he'd be going so soon.
Sad day in music. For me, it's sadder than Elvis dying. Music ain't gonna be the same without him. But he was 73 years old, I mean c'mon, he was born in 1933 and was still performing up until recently!?! Amazin'.
If there was no James Brown there'd be no likes of Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, even Beyoncé or anyone you can think of who has dance routines. R.I.P.