James Brown

Quick Facts

Full NameJames Joseph Brown
Date of BirthMay 3, 1933
Place of BirthBarnwell, South Carolina, U.S.
Date of DeathDecember 25, 2006
Place of DeathAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
OccupationsSinger, dancer, musician, record producer, bandleader
Years Active1954–2006
SpousesVelma Warren (m. 1953; div. 1969), Deidre Jenkins (m. 1970; div. 1981), Adrienne Rodriguez (m. 1984; died 1996)
PartnerTomi Rae Hynie (1997–2006)
Children9–13 (exact number not confirmed)
OriginToccoa, Georgia, U.S.
GenresSoul, R&B, funk
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards, drums, harmonica, guitar
LabelsFederal, King, Smash, People, Polydor, TK, Scotti Bros., Mercury, Republic, UMe, A&M
Notable AlbumsLive at the Apollo, Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine, The Payback
Notable SinglesPlease, Please, Please, Try Me, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good), Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud
AwardsInducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986
HonorsInducted into the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2013 (as an artist) and 2017 (as a songwriter), Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame
RankingsRanked No. 1 in the Top 500 Artists on Billboard R&B charts (Joel Whitburn’s analysis), Ranked seventh on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
Early LifeBorn in poverty in Barnwell, South Carolina, learned to play musical instruments during youth, briefly pursued boxing, convicted of robbery at 16, formed a gospel quartet in juvenile detention center
ParoleReleased on a work sponsorship with Toccoa business owner S. C. Lawson, paroled on June 14, 1952, worked with Lawson’s sons and joined the gospel group the Ever-Ready Gospel Singers after release

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