James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, definitely had his personal issues. (Don’t we all, though?) But, what cannot be disputed is the man was a pioneer in the music industry during very dangerous times, an influencer of several music genres, a true master of the stage during his heyday, and earned his Legend and Icon stripes the hard way — opening a door for people of color when opening a door for people of color wasn’t cool.
He’s one of those “immortals” in a class by himself, like Elvis, Fred Astaire, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Baryshnikov, Stephen King, Loretta Lynn, Pavarotti, The Beatles… you get my drift.
His heyday was before I was born, so thank goodness for the old performance videos people uploaded onto YouTube. I always used to say that all a James Brown performance needed was James Brown and nothing else.
I’m taking that back!
Behold: Brown performing a version his No. 1 Billboard hit It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World with another favorite immortal of mine, Luciano Pavarotti, in 2006.
R&B met Opera and my mind went BOOM! I discovered this video about 9 years ago, and I still get goosebumps.
READ: Linda G. Hill, One-Liner Wednesday — I take it back