He was born in Barnwell, South Carolina May 3, 1933. His mother was 16 and his father just 22. His name was supposed to have been Joseph James Brown Jr., but an error on his birth certificate reversed his first and middle names.
The family was very poor and moved to Augusta, Georgia when James was about 5. Growing up, he learned to play piano, guitar and harmonica. As a teenager, he had a brief career as a boxer.
James was 25 when his first record appeared on the Billboard Top-100 charts. By 1986, 99 of his songs had charted — even more than the Beatles’ 72 hit singles. James never had a #1 hit on the pop charts. However, he was named the #1 artist on Billboard’s Top R&B singles charts.
Over the years, James made many appearances on television and the movies (The Blues Brothers).
James Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He won Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. Rolling Stone magazine ranks him as 7th on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
It was on Christmas Day 2006, that James Brown died from congestive heart failure.
This song debuted in December 1985 and became the second biggest hit of his career. From the movie Rocky IV — Living In America…