James Brown

Singer/Songwriter James Brown, known as "The Godfather of Soul," was a singer/songwriter, activist and showman who amazed audiences with his light feet and manic energy.  In the 1950s, Brown recorded gospel-influenced R&B music as a member of The Flames (later James Brown and the Famous Flames).  By the '70s, Brown and Flame's Bobby Byrd formed a new band, The J.B.'s.  Throughout his career, Brown logged 17 No. 1 R&B hits.  Rap artists have heavily sampled his music, while performers such as Michael Jackson and Prince have sited him as a primary influence. Brown died in December 2006 due to complications from pneumonia.

(Photo: CBS/Landov)

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