James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – Dec 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. As the founding father of funk music and often referred to as "The Godfather of Soul". Starting as a gospel singer in Georgia he joined the Avons, an R&B group that later evolved to The Flames and then The Famous Flames with James as the lead singer. The hit song 'Please, Please, Please' was inspired when Brown's idol Little Richard wrote the words on a napkin. In 1957 The Famous Flames broke up as was revived as "James Brown and The Famous Flames".
By 1967, Brown's music started to be defined as funk music when he released what some critics called the first true funk song, "Cold Sweat". James Brown influenced musicians across the industry, including: Sly & the Family Stone, Booker T & the M.G's, Edwin Starr, Mick Jagger, David Ruffin, The Temptations and Michael Jackson, who said Brown was his ultimate idol. Check out our vintage t-shirt collection as worn by this Soul & Funk legend James Brown.