Born May 3, 1933, James Brown is an American singer, dancer, songwriter, songwriter, musician and producer considered the pioneer of funk music after his blues and jazz debut, and having been dubbed the “Godfather Of Soul” (the godfather of soul).
He grew up in a poor family in the southern United States and had to manage very quickly to be able to survive on the streets. At the same time, he learned to play multiple instruments and envisioned a career as a singer fascinated by Louis Jordan, a famous jazz and r & b singer.
In 1948, his various crimes lead him to prison where he forms his first group with other inmates to perform in the surrounding prisons. He is then spotted by Bobby Byrd who is impressed by his ability to sing and dance at the same time. Together they form the r & b group The Flames and their first single “Please, Please, Please” released in 1956 sold 1 million copies: unfortunately it was their only success.
It was in the 60s that James Brown alias Mr Dynamite really exploded with the release of the songs “I Got You (I feel Good)” and “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” as well as the ballad “It’s A Man’s World” . James Brown then set about building the identity of funk music.
Cold Sweat released in 1967, is defined as the first track of its kind. In the 1970s, he surrounded himself with the best musicians and his stage performances were real shows: he was at the peak of his career and followed a series of innovative albums including “The Big Payback” in 1973.
Many musicians will admit to having been influenced by James Brown including Miles Davis, Sly & The Family Stone and later Michael Jackson or Prince.
In the 1980s, James’s funky-soul didn’t really find its audience, but he would continue to perform on stage successfully until the end.
Awarded many times for his entire career, for his role in contemporary music and his political commitment to the black cause, James Brown died on December 25, 2006.