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Wake held for Godfather of Soul

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Wake held for Godfather of Soul


On the stage where he made his name, a wake has been held for the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Thousands of fans filed past the body of the 73- year-old entertainer, on display in the Apollo Theatre, New York. Brown died in Atlanta on Christmas Day from congestive heart failure. He was an idol for many in the black community and his body was paraded through Harlem on a horse-drawn carriage.

In 1962 Brown paid to have a recording done of a concert he performed there – the subsequent vinyl release “Live at the Apollo” was to become a worldwide hit that established him as an international star.

Brown’s private life was turbulent – his brushes with the law resulted in charges of domestic violence, assault and drug abuse. But in musical terms his legacy was enormous. His bold rhythms both defined the funk sound of the 70s and gave confidence to subsequent generations of black artists, helping to inspire the rap and hip-hop movements.

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