James Brown

James Brown

With some 800 songs in his repertoire, James Brown has influenced contemporary artists from virtually every popular music genre — rock, soul, jazz, R&B included. His polyrhythmic funk vamps virtually reshaped dance music, and his impact on hip-hop, in particular, was huge. Though he would be dogged by legal troubles and controversy in later life, he was a principled artist, adamantly refusing to conform to anyone's vision. He was also an inimitable showman, and the only thing more fun than listening to James Brown was seeing him live.

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