James Brown Murder, CNN Investigation, Adrienne, Wife, Children, Death and Songs

James Brown
James Brown

Last Updated on by Sabina

James Brown Biography

James Brown (James Joseph Brown) was an American singer-songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century music and dance, he is often referred to as the “Godfather of Soul”.

Brown started his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia and joined an R&B vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters (which later evolved into the Flames) founded by Bobby Byrd, in which he was the lead singer.

First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me”, Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra.

His success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”.

In the late 1960s, he moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly “Africanized” approach to music-making that made an influence to the development of funk music. By the early 1970s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of the J.B.s with records such as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “The Payback”.

He also became noted for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”. Brown continued to perform and record until his death from pneumonia in 2006.

Brown recorded 17 singles that reached number one on the Billboard R&B charts and also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach number one.

Brown has received honors from many institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In Joel Whitburn’s analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, James Brown is ranked as number one in The Top 500 Artists. He is ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone’s list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Rolling Stone has also cited Brown as the most sampled artist of all time.

James Brown Age

Brown was born on May 3, 1933, in Barnwell, South Carolina, U.S. He died on December 25, 2006, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S aged 73.

James Brown Parents

Brown was raised by his parents Susie Brown (mother) and Joseph Gardner Brown (father). His mother was born on August 8, 1916, Colleton County, South Carolina, United States and died on February 26, 2004, in Augusta, Georgia, United States.

His father was born on March 29, 1911, in Barnwell County, South Carolina, United States and died on 10 July 1993, Augusta, Georgia, United States.

James Brown Spouse / Wife

Brown married four times over the course of his life and had six children. His wives’ names were Velma Warren (1953-1969), Deidre Jenkins (1970-1981), Adrienne Rodriguez (1984-1996) and Tomi Rae Hynie (2002-2004).

In 2004, Brown was arrested again on charges of domestic violence against Hynie, although he said in a statement: “I would never hurt my wife. I love her very much.”

James Brown Children

Brown had ten children five daughters and five sons. They are LaRhonda Pettit born (born 1962), Yamma Brown (born 1972), Deanna Brown Thomas (born 1969), James Joseph Brown II (born 2001), Daryl Brown, Venisha Brown, Lisa Brown, Larry Brown, Terry Brown, and Teddy Brown.

James Brown Death

On December 23, 2006, Brown became very ill and arrived at his dentist’s office in Atlanta, Georgia, several hours late. His appointment was for dental implant work. During that visit, Brown’s dentist observed that he looked “very bad … weak and dazed.” Instead of performing the work, the dentist advised Brown to see a doctor right away about his medical condition.

Brown went to the Emory Crawford Long Memorial Hospital the next day for medical evaluation and was admitted for observation and treatment.

According to Charles Bobbit, his longtime personal manager, and friend, Brown had been struggling with a noisy cough since returning from a November trip to Europe. Yet, Bobbit said, the singer had a history of never complaining about being sick and often performed while ill.

Although Brown had to cancel upcoming concerts in Waterbury, Connecticut, and Englewood, New Jersey, he was confident that the doctor would discharge him from the hospital in time for his scheduled New Year’s Eve shows at the Count Basie Theatre in New Jersey and the B. B. King Blues Club in New York, in addition to performing a song live on CNN for the Anderson Cooper New Year’s Eve special.

Brown remained hospitalized, however, and his condition worsened throughout the day.

On Christmas Day, 2006, Brown died at approximately 1:45 am EST (06:45 UTC), at age 73, from congestive heart failure, resulting from complications of pneumonia. Bobbit was at his bedside and later reported that Brown stuttered, “I’m going away tonight,” then took three long, quiet breaths and fell asleep before dying.

In 2019, an investigation by CNN and other journalists led to suggestions that Brown had been murdered.

CNN Investigation About the Deaths of James Brown and His Third Wife, Adrienne

James Brown’s doctor has claimed that Brown could have been murdered – 12 years after he signed his death certificate saying he died of natural causes. Brown died in Atlanta on Christmas Day 2006, aged 73.

The official cause of death was a heart attack and fluid in his lungs. But Marvin Crawford, his doctor, said he has long suspected that the singer died under suspicious circumstances.

Brown’s condition “changed too fast,” the doctor told CNN as part of the network’s three-part documentary on the soul singer. “He was a patient I would never have predicted would have coded,” he said, using a term to refer to heart trouble. “But he died that night, and I did raise that question: What went wrong in that room?” Dr Crawford and a dozen other witnesses, interviewed by CNN for the documentary, also believe there was more to Brown’s death than meets the eye.

When Brown was brought to the hospital on Dec 23, Dr Crawford thought Brown had pneumonia, which was widely reported after his death. He found signs of a mild heart attack.

The doctor also found traces of cocaine in Brown’s urine but was confident his patient would be fine. “He improved fast,” he said. “Boom, boom, boom.

By 5 o’clock on the 24th, I mean, he probably could have walked out of the hospital if he had wanted. But we wouldn’t let him go. We wouldn’t tell him to go yet.”

At 1 am on Christmas Day morning Dr Crawford was awakened by a telephone call from the hospital, telling him that Brown’s heart had stopped. His personal manager, Charles Bobbit, who said he was the only one with him, heard Brown complain that his “chest was on fire” before the singer lay down “and died.”

By the time Dr. Crawford got to the hospital room, the singer was dead. Dr. Crawford now suspects that his death was through an overdose, deliberate or accidental. A nurse reportedly told a friend of Brown’s, Andre White, who brought him to the hospital, that “Brown had been visited by a male stranger she didn’t recognize.”

“After that visit, White says the nurse told him Brown’s vital signs rapidly declined,” the CNN report said, adding that the nurse pointed to “residue” left in his IV tube. CNN heard from Brown’s associates that some believed the death of his third wife, Adrienne, was also suspicious.

She died in 1996, in botched plastic surgery, but Brown reportedly told friends he thought she was given a drug overdose.

Dr. Crawford, who at the time believed Brown had willingly taken drugs in his hospital room, never went to the authorities. Mr. White, however, took a vial of Brown’s blood from a hospital nurse in the hope of proving that his friend had been murdered. It was not clear what happened to the blood.

Nick Ashton-Hart, managing director of Intrigue Music’s European territory, told CNN that weeks before his death, Brown revealed he wanted to separate from his two lawyers, Buddy Dallas, and David Cannon. Cannon died in October.

Brown’s manager, Frank Copsidas, confirmed Mr. Ashton-Hart’s story, adding: “He didn’t want a lot of people to know, because he was afraid Dallas and Cannon would try to stop him.”

The two had control over Brown’s finances after he signed a will and estate plan in 2000 that gave three trustees control. Part of the agreement allowed the trustees to use up to 50 percent of Brown’s income for “management purposes”, CNN claimed.

Cannon declined CNN’s request for an interview and died on Oct 1 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Several people have alleged in court documents that Mr. Dallas conspired with Cannon to exploit Brown, though he was never criminally charged. Mr. Dallas did not respond to The Telegraph’s request for comment.

The two lawyers’ control over Brown infuriated the singer, according to CNN, prompting Brown to slap Cannon several times at one point.

James Brown Career

Dismissed from school at the age of 12 for “insufficient clothing,” Brown turned to work his various odd jobs full-time. As an escape from the harsh reality of growing up black in the rural South during the Great Depression, Brown turned to religion and to music. He sang in the church choir, where he developed his powerful and uniquely emotive voice.

At the age of 16, Brown had turned to crime. He was arrested for stealing a car and sentenced to three years in prison. While incarcerated, he organized and led a prison gospel choir.

It was in jail that Brown met Bobby Byrd, an aspiring R&B singer, and pianist, forming a friendship and musical partnership that proved one of the most fruitful in music history.

Always a gifted athlete, upon his release from prison in 1953 Brown turned his attention to sports and devoted the next two years primarily to boxing and playing semi-professional baseball. Then, in 1955, Bobby Byrd invited Brown to join his R&B vocal group, The Gospel Starlighters.

Brown accepted, and with his overbearing talent and showmanship, he quickly came to dominate the group. Renamed the Famous Flames, they moved to Macon, Georgia, where they performed at local nightclubs.

In 1956, the Famous Flames recorded a demo tape of the song “Please, Please, Please” and played it for Ralph Bass, a talent scout for King Records.

Bass was thoroughly impressed by the song, and especially by Brown’s passionate and soulful crooning. He offered the group a record contract, and within months “Please, Please, Please” had reached No. 6 on the R&B charts.

The Flames immediately hit the road, touring the Southeast while opening for such legendary musicians as B.B. King and Ray Charles. But the band didn’t have a repeat hit to match the success of “Please, Please, Please,” and by the end of 1957, the Flames had returned home.

Needing a creative spark and in danger of losing his record deal, in 1958, Brown moved to New York, where, working with different musicians whom he also called the Flames, he recorded “Try Me.” The song reached No. 1 on the R&B charts, cracked the Hot 100 Singles chart and kick-started Brown’s music career.

He soon followed with a string of hits that included “Lost Someone,” “Night Train” and “Prisoner of Love,” his first song to crack the Top 10 on the pop charts, peaking at No. 2.

In addition to writing and recording music, Brown toured relentlessly. He performed five or six nights a week throughout the 1950s and ’60s, a schedule that earned him the title “The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.”

Brown was a flashy showman, incredible dancer, and soulful singer, and his concerts were hypnotizing displays of exuberance and passion that left audiences in raptures.

His saxophonist, Pee Wee Ellis, once said, “When you heard James Brown was coming to town, you stopped what you were doing and started saving your money.”

Brown fastidiously mastered and performed whatever dances were popular at the time—”the camel walk,” “the mashed potato,” “the popcorn” —and often improvised his own after announcing that he was about to “do the James Brown.” A shrewd and ruthless bandleader and businessman, Brown scheduled his tours to hit “money towns” on the weekends and demanded perfection from his backup singers and musicians.

He infamously fined musicians for missing notes, and during performances, he called out musicians to improvise on the spot. As one of Brown’s musicians said, with considerable understatement, “You had to think quick to keep up.”

On a single night—October 24, 1962—Brown recorded a live concert album at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Initially opposed by King Records because it featured no new songs, Live at the Apollo proved Brown’s greatest commercial success yet, peaking at No. 2 on the pop albums chart and firmly establishing his crossover appeal.

Brown went on to record many of his most popular and enduring singles during the mid-1960s, including “I Got You (I Feel Good),” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”

With its unique rhythmic quality, achieved by reducing each instrument to an essentially percussive role, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” is considered the first song of a new genre, funk, an offshoot of soul and a precursor of hip-hop.

Social Activism
In the mid-1960s, James Brown also began devoting more and more energy to social causes. In 1966, he recorded “Don’t Be a Dropout,” an eloquent and impassioned plea to the black community to place more focus on education.

A staunch believer in exclusively nonviolent protest, Brown once declared to H. Rap Brown of the Black Panthers, “I’m not going to tell anybody to pick up a gun.”

On April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, with riots raging across the country, Brown gave a rare televised live concert in Boston in an attempt to prevent rioting there.

His effort succeeded; young Bostonians stayed home to watch the concert on TV and the city largely avoided violence. A few months later he wrote and recorded “Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud,” a protest anthem that has unified and inspired generations.

Troubles & Redemption
Throughout the 1970s, Brown continued to perform ceaselessly and recorded several more hits, most notably “Sex Machine” and “Get Up Offa That Thing.”

Although his career fell off during the late 1970s due to financial troubles and the rise of disco, Brown made an inspired comeback with a multifaceted performance in the classic 1980 film The Blues Brothers. His 1985 song “Living in America,” featured prominently in Rocky IV, was his biggest hit in decades.

However, after becoming one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986—the year of its inception—in the late 1980s, Brown slowly slid into a mire of drug addiction and depression.

The culmination of his personal troubles came in 1988 when he entered an insurance seminar high on PCP and bearing a shotgun before leading police on a half-hour, high-speed car chase from Augusta, Georgia, into South Carolina.

The police had to shoot out Brown’s tires to end the chase. The incident led to Brown spending 15 months in jail before being released on parole in 1991.

Re-emerging from prison rehabbed, Brown returned to touring, once again delivering inspired and energetic concerts, albeit on a schedule much reduced from his heyday.

He had another run-in with the law in 1998 after he discharged a rifle and led the police in another car chase. After the incident, he was sentenced to a 90-day drug rehabilitation program.

James Brown Albums

  • Please Please Please (1958)
  • Try Me! (1959)
  • Think! (1960)
  • The Amazing James Brown (1961)
  • James Brown Presents His Band (1961)
  • Good, Good, Twistin’ (1962)
  • James Brown and His Famous Flames Tour the U.S.A. (1962)
  • Prisoner of Love (1963)
  • Showtime (1964)
  • Grits & Soul (1964)
  • Out of Sight (1964)
  • Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag (1965)
  • James Brown Plays James Brown Today & Yesterday (1965)
  • I Got You (I Feel Good) (1966)
  • Mighty Instrumentals (1966)
  • James Brown Plays New Breed (The Boo-Ga-Loo) (1966)
  • It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World (1966)
  • Handful of Soul (1966)
  • James Brown Sings Raw Soul (1967)
  • James Brown Plays the Real Thing (1967)
  • Cold Sweat (1967)
  • I Can’t Stand Myself When You Touch Me (1968)
  • I Got the Feelin’ (1968)
  • James Brown Plays Nothing But Soul (1968)
  • Thinking About Little Willie John and a Few Nice Things (1968)
  • Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud (1969)
  • Gettin’ Down to It (1969)
  • The Popcorn (1969)
  • It’s a Mother (1969)
  • Ain’t It Funky (1970)
  • Soul on Top (1970)
  • It’s a New Day – Let a Man Come In (1970)
  • Hey America (1970)
  • Super Bad (1971)
  • Sho Is Funky Down Here (1971)
  • Hot Pants (1971)
  • There It Is (1972)
  • Get on the Good Foot (1972)
  • Black Caesar (1973)
  • Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off (1973)
  • The Payback (1973)
  • Hell (1974)
  • Reality (1974)
  • Sex Machine Today (1975)
  • Everybody’s Doin’ the Hustle & Dead on the Double Bump (1975)
  • Hot (1976)
  • Get Up Offa That Thing (1976)
  • Body heat (1976)
  • Mutha’s Nature (1977)
  • Jam 1980’s (1978)
  • Take a Look at Those Cakes (1978)
  • The Original Disco Man (1979)
  • People (1980)
  • Soul Syndrome (1980)
  • Nonstop! (1981)
  • Bring It On! (1983)
  • Gravity (1986)
  • I’m Real (1988)
  • Love Over-Due (1991)
  • Universal James (1992)
  • I’m Back (1998)
  • The Next Step (2002)

James Brown Songs

  • Ain’t It Funky Now
  • Ain’t That a Groove
  • America Is My Home
  • Any Day Now (Chuck Jackson song)
  • Baby, You’re Right
  • The Bells (Billy Ward and His Dominoes song)
  • Bewildered
  • Body heat
  • Bring It On…Bring It On
  • Bring It Up
  • Brother Rapp
  • Caldonia
  • Can’t Get Any Harder
  • Cold Sweat
  • Coldblooded (James Brown song)
  • (Do the) Mashed Potatoes
  • Doing It to Death
  • Don’t Be a Drop-Out
  • Down and Out in New York City
  • Escape-ism
  • Every Beat of My Heart (song)
  • Eyesight (song)
  • For Goodness Sakes, Look at Those Cakes
  • Funk on Ah Roll
  • Funky Drummer
  • Funky President (People It’s Bad)
  • Get It Together (James Brown song)
  • Get on the Good Foot
  • Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine
  • Get Up Offa That Thing
  • Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved
  • Gimme Your Love
  • Give It Up or Turnit a Loose
  • Give Me Some Skin
  • Good Rocking Tonight
  • Gravity (James Brown song)
  • Gut Bucket (song)
  • Have Mercy Baby
  • Hey America
  • Honky Tonk (instrumental)
  • Hot (I Need to Be Loved, Loved, Loved)
  • Hot Pants (James Brown song)
  • How Do You Stop
  • Hustle!!! (Dead on It)
  • I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)
  • I Cried (James Brown song)
  • I Don’t Mind (James Brown song)
  • I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing
  • I Got a Bag of My Own
  • I Got Ants in My Pants
  • I Got the Feelin’
  • I Got You (I Feel Good)
  • I Guess I’ll Have to Cry, Cry, Cry
  • (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
  • I Love You Yes I Do
  • I Refuse to Lose
  • I Want You So Bad (James Brown song)
  • I’ll Go Crazy (James Brown song)
  • I’m a Greedy Man
  • I’m Real (James Brown song)
  • I’ve Got Money
  • If I Ruled the World
  • If You Don’t Give a Doggone About It
  • It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World
  • It’s a New Day (James Brown song)
  • It’s Magic
  • It’s Too Funky in Here
  • Just You and Me, Darling
  • Kansas City (Leiber and Stoller song)
  • Killing Is Out, School Is In
  • King Heroin
  • Kiss in 77
  • Let a Man Come In and Do the Popcorn
  • Let Us Go Back to the Old Landmark
  • Let Yourself Go (James Brown song)
  • Let’s Go Get Stoned (R&B song)
  • Licking Stick – Licking Stick
  • Like a Baby
  • Living in America (James Brown song)
  • Lost Someone
  • Lowdown Popcorn
  • Make It Funky
  • Mashed Potatoes U.S.A.
  • Maybe the Last Time
  • Money Won’t Change You
  • Mother Popcorn
  • My Thang
  • Nature Boy
  • Night Time Is the Right Time
  • Night Train (Jimmy Forrest composition)
  • Oh Baby Don’t You Weep
  • Out of Sight (song)
  • Papa Don’t Take No Mess
  • Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
  • The Payback (song)
  • Please, Please, Please
  • The Popcorn
  • Prisoner of Love (Russ Columbo song)
  • Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses)
  • Reality (James Brown song)
  • Regrets (James Brown song)
  • Santa Claus Is Definitely Here to Stay
  • Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud
  • September Songgettyimages-72286574
  • Sexy, Sexy, Sexy
  • She’s the One (Hank Ballard song)
  • Shout and Shimmy
  • Signed Sealed and Delivered
  • (So Tired of Standing Still We Got to) Move On
  • Soul Power
  • Soul Pride
  • The Spank
  • Spinning Wheel (song)
  • Star Generation
  • Static (song)
  • Stay with Me (James Brown song)
  • Stoned to the Bone
  • Sunny (Bobby Hebb song)
  • Super Bad (song)
  • Superbad, Super slick
  • Sweet Little Baby Boy
  • Sweet Soul Music
  • Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing
  • That Lucky Old Sun
  • That’s My Desire
  • Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye
  • There It Is (James Brown song)
  • There Was a Time
  • These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)
  • Think (About It)
  • Think (The “5” Royales song)
  • This Old Heart
  • Three Hearts in a Tangle
  • Tit for Tat (Ain’t No Taking Back)
  • Try Me (James Brown song)
  • Unity (Afrika Bambaataa and James Brown song)
  • What Kind of Fool Am I?
  • What My Baby Needs Now Is a Little More Lovin’
  • When the Saints Go Marching In
  • World (James Brown song)
  • You’ve Got the Power (James Brown song)
  • You’ve Got to Change Your Mind
  • Your Cheatin’ Heart

James Brown Films

  • The T.A.M.I. Show (1964) (concert film)- with The Famous Flames
  • Ski Party (1965)- with The Famous Flames
  • James Brown: Man to Man (1968) (concert film)
  • The Phynx (1970)
  • Black Caesar (1973) (soundtrack only)
  • Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off (1973) (soundtrack only)
  • Adiós Amigo (1976)
  • The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • Doctor Detroit (1983)
  • Rocky IV (1985)
  • James Brown: Live in East Berlin (1989)
  • The Simpsons (1993)
  • When We Were Kings (1996) (documentary)
  • Duckman (1997)
  • Soulmates (1997)
  • Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
  • Holy Man (1998)
  • portrayed by Carlton Smith in Liberty Heights (1999)
  • Undercover Brother (2002)
  • The Tuxedo (2002)
  • The Hire: Beat The Devil (2002) (short film)
  • Paper Chasers (2003) (documentary)
  • Soul Survivor (2003) (documentary)
  • Sid Bernstein Presents … (2005) (documentary)
  • Glastonbury (2006) (documentary)
  • Life on the Road with Mr. and Mrs. Brown (2007) (documentary; release pending)
  • Live at the Boston Garden: April 5, 1968 (2008) (concert film)
  • I Got The Feelin’: James Brown in the ’60s, three-DVD set featuring Live at the Boston Garden: April 5, 1968,
  • Live at the Apollo ’68, and the documentary The Night James Brown Saved Boston
  • Soul Power (2009) (documentary)
  • Get on Up (2014)

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