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.