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James Brown Dies at 73

The "Godfather of Soul" died of heart failure in Atlanta early Christmas morning.

SPIN iconBy: SPIN Staff // December 26, 2006

Seminal soul musician James Brown, singer behind such famed singles as “Please, Please, Please” (1956), “I Got You (I Feel Good)” (1965), “Super Bad” (1970), and “Living in America” (1985), died early Christmas morning at age 73. Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia at an Atlanta hospital Sunday and died of heart failure shortly thereafter. He was scheduled to bring his trademark fancy footwork and rough, soulful croon to a New Year’s Eve show in New York later this week.

Rev. Al Sharpton, a friend and tourmate of Brown’s from the ’70s, will officiate at Brown’s funeral, which will likely be open to the Atlanta public. ”He made soul music a world music,” Sharpton said, according to reports. ”What James Brown was to music in terms of soul and hip-hop, rap, all of that, is what Bach was to classical music.”

Talk: What’s your favorite James Brown song?

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