James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul," whose revolutionary rhythms, rough voice and flashing footwork influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap, died early Christmas morning. He was 73.
Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday and died of conjunctive heart failure around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music.
Brown initially seemed fine at the hospital and even told people that he planned to be on stage in New York on New Year’s Eve, Copsidas said.
Brown’s connection with hip-hop has been there since the start. His music is perhaps the most sampled in hip-hop history. In 1984 he collaborated with Hip-Hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa to release the hit single "Unity"