From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
James Joseph Brown (May 3 1933 – December 25 2006), commonly referred to as "The Godfather of Soul" and "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business," was an American entertainer recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th century popular music. He was renowned for his shouting vocals, feverish dancing and unique rhythmic style.
As a prolific singer, songwriter, dancer and bandleader, Brown was a pivotal force in the music industry. He left his mark on numerous artists. Brown's music also left its mark on the rhythms of African popular music, such as afrobeat, jùjú and mbalax, and provided a template for go-go music.
Brown began his professional music career in 1953 and rose to fame during the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his thrilling live performances and string of smash hits. In spite of various personal problems and setbacks he continued to score hits in every decade through the 1980s. In addition to his acclaim in music, Brown was also a presence in American political affairs during the 1960s and 1970s.
Brown was recognized by numerous titles, including Soul Brother Number One, Sex Machine, Mr. Dynamite, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, The King of Funk, Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk, Mr. Please Please Please Please Her, The Boss and foremost the Godfather of Soul.