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James Brown's body to lie at the Apollo Theater in New York City for last gig

James Brown's body to lie at the Apollo Theater in New York City for last gig

James Brown's music career will come full circle when his body is brought to rest on the stage of the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, where he made his explosive debut, and the world changed to his beat.
The public will be permitted on Thursday to visit the Apollo to have one more look at a man who helped steer modern musical tastes toward rhythm-and-blues, funk, hip-hop, disco and rap, the Rev. Al Sharpton said. The reverend has been a close friend of Brown for decades.
"It would almost be unthinkable for a man who lived such a sensational life to go away quietly," Sharpton said in an interview from Georgia, where he was making funeral arrangements with Brown's children.
Sharpton said the public Apollo viewing will be followed by a private ceremony Friday in Brown's hometown, Augusta, Georgia, and another public ceremony, officiated by Sharpton, a day later at the James Brown Arena there.
Residents and city officials in Augusta on Wednesday recalled Brown fondly, saying his legacy will endure in their community.
His annual toy drive gave Christmas gifts to hundreds of needy children, and his yearly turkey giveaway provided more than 1,000 impoverished families with a Thanksgiving dinner.
"It's mindboggling to think about his impact on the world of music. But I think his legacy of giving in Augusta will continue to be giving for years to come," said Augusta's mayor, Deke Copenhaver. "He never forgot where he came from and he loved the city unconditionally."
Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, died of congestive heart failure on Christmas morning in Atlanta at age 73. He had been scheduled to perform on New Year's Eve in Manhattan at the B.B. King Blues Club.
Soul diva Chaka Khan will fill Brown's spot on New Year's Eve with a program commemorating his memory, said Rena Siwek, public relations director for the club.
James Brown's "legend will forever ring true within our halls and we vow to continue to celebrate his life and music in all upcoming performances," Siwek said, in an e-mail announcement.
The Apollo began recruiting and showcasing talent in 1934. Early acts included "Pigmeat" Markham and Jackie "Moms" Mabley. Before long, Lena Horne, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin and Brown were making their debuts.
Apollo audiences cheered the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson, Fats Waller, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis Jr. and Nina Simone. Comedians such as Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor performed there, too.


Updated : 2021-07-30 10:24 GMT+08:00