Born in South Carolina during the depression, Brown was raised in extreme poverty. By the time he was six years old, both parents had abandoned him to his aunt in Georgia. A few years later, at the ripe age of 12, Brown was forced to drop out of school so he could go to work. It was during these difficult times that Brown taught himself how to play the harmonica and guitar, and began to develop a passion for music that never ceased.
Brown recorded his first chart topping single in 1955 and continued producing great music through the 80’s. His energy on stage and unique vocal range were pivotal forces in the evolution of gospel and rhythm and blues, into soul and funk. Brown also heavily influenced other music genres including rock, jazz, disco, dance, reggae, and hip hop.
Brown was clearly loved. He seemed to touch everyone he met with his charisma and kindness. His funeral in his hometown of Aiken, South Carolina was aired by CNN, and he had three memorials at the Apollo in New York. His fans were people of all colors, creeds, and characters. They were young, old, male, female, black, and white. Perhaps it was Brown’s humanity that drew all these people to adore him. He grew up poor, had run-ins with the law throughout his life, and was married four times. He seemed an ordinary man, doing extraordinary things.
Lets hope that his children, attorneys, and estate trustees do this great man proud by immediately burying his body, embracing his last wife and child, and putting this final saga to rest.