All Articles Tagged "james brown"

Since The Oscars Were So White: The Blackest Award Show Moments Ever

February 23rd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Don’t know if you noticed but the Oscars didn’t exactly have that much for Black people. With the exception of Common and John Legend performing and winning the Academy Award for their song “Glory,” the show was a sea of White faces. It’s the reason we didn’t live tweet the show like we usually do. Instead, we simply showed you what our faves were wearing on the carpet. So in honor of our disappointment and in anticipation for tonight’s BET Honors, we’re highlighting some of the Blackest moments from award shows in the past decade or so.

Judge Rules Tomi Rae Hynie As James Brown’s Wife, Ruling Will Affect Brown’s Estate Battle

January 28th, 2015 - By Raven Carter
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Judge Rules Tomi Rae Hynie



From BlackVoices

In a decision likely to significantly affect the long-running dispute over James Brown’s estate, a judge in South Carolina has ruled that Tommie Rae Hynie Brown is the widow of the singer, known as the Godfather of Soul.

Read more about James Brown’s estate at

Please, Please, Please: James Brown’s Will Still Tangled Up In Legal Mess

December 15th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Can you believe the dispute over soul legend James Brown’s will is still ongoing?

Brown died in 2006 and his will he divided his property among the six children he recognized and charity. “The bulk of his estate, worth millions of dollars — perhaps tens of millions — was to go to a trust to provide scholarships to needy children here in his native state and in Georgia, where he grew up,” reports The New York Times.

So far nothing has been distributed because some of his children want to turn Brown’s former home into a Graceland-style attraction and have challenged the will. So has a woman he referred to as his wife, though he later contested the legality of their marriage.

So Brown’s estate sits tangled in a legal mess that includes lawsuits and millions paid in to creditors, law firms and various vendors, but not to schoolchildren or other beneficiaries. Even Brown’s body remains in a temporary resting place, not the planned memorial at his home.

When he made his will in 2000, Brown explained on an audio tape how he hoped his scholarship fund would benefit both White and Black children.

The will also set aside $2 million in scholarships for his seven grandchildren and divided his personal property, like costumes and household effects, worth perhaps another $2 million, among the six children he recognized. And any heir who challenged the distribution would be disinherited, the will directed.

But this didn’t stop the challenges, especially from those left out. Many of Brown’s children and grandchildren sued to overturn the will and to remove three longtime associates Brown had appointed as executors of the estate: his accountant, David Cannon; his personal lawyer, Albert H. Dallas; and a former judge, Alfred Bradley. Several children allege that Brown, who had had drug problems, had been influenced by lawyers and managers who stood to profit. Since then, all three executors have resigned. In fact, Cannon left due to allegations that he had misappropriated Brown’s money and was later sentenced in a separate case to three years of house confinement after being charged with breach of trust in his management of Brown’s affairs

By 2008, Henry McMaster, then the South Carolina attorney general, had stepped in. He said that Brown’s charitable initiatives had been endangered by the court challenges filed by his family.

“Under a proposed settlement with the family, he redirected a quarter of the estate’s assets to  Brown’s children and grandchildren and a quarter to the singer Tommie Rae Hynie, whom Brown married in 2001 but had left out of the will,” reports the Times.

This all changed when last year the South Carolina Supreme Court threw out the attorney general’s settlement and during the past 18 months, the lower court judge to whom the case was returned, Doyet A. Early III, is still holding hearings into the matter.

Brown’s estate was estimated at $86 million, based on offers that had been made to buy the copyrights to the more than 800 songs Brown wrote or controlled and to the dozens of albums he recorded in his 50-year career. And Brown is still making money–his music generates millions of dollars in royalties for the estate annually.

HBO Presents Latest James Brown Documentary: “Mr. Dynamite”

October 23rd, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From EurWeb 

Can you even count the number of James Brown specials you’ve seen in your lifetime?

On Monday, Oct. 27, HBO will add another one to the mix…and it just might be the granddaddy, or rather godfather, of all JB documentaries.

To make the case, here’s what HBO’s “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown” has working in its favor:

• An Oscar-winning director, Alex Gibney, at the helm.
• Mick Jagger as a producer (fresh from producing the well-received James Brown biopic “Get On Up”).
• Never-before-seen footage, interviews and photographs.
• Interviews with Jagger, Rev. Al Sharpton, Maceo Parker, Clyde Stubblefield, Questlove, Melvin Parker, Chuck D, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, Martha High, Bootsy Collins and Fred Wesley…to name a few.
• Perhaps most important, the documentary was made with the cooperation of the Brown Estate, which opened its archives for the first time.

Read more about James Brown’s Documentary at 

“You Think That’s Love” James Brown’s Daughter, Dr. Yamma Brown, Talks Cycle Of Domestic Violence In Her Family

September 17th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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When most of us think about James Brown, we think Godfather of Soul, musical icon, legendary entertainer. But for Dr. Yamma Brown, he was her father. So naturally, the next natural question is what was it like to grown up with James Brown as a dad? Well Dr. Brown decided to detail her experiences in her new book “Cold Sweat.”

In it she shares sweet and enduring memories of her father but she also talks about the other side of him. James Brown was also a man who was known to be abusive to each of his three (or four) wives. And growing up with him in the house, unfortunately Yamma witnessed that firsthand. And like many children, went on to choose and marry a man who behaved similarly.

In our exclusive interview, she speaks about her family’s reception to her truth-telling memoir, what she thinks her dad would have to say about it and most importantly, how she’ll ensure that her son and daughter don’t repeat the cycle of domestic violence in their own lives.

James Brown Food Stamps? Chadwick Boseman And Dan Akroyd Share What Wasn’t Revealed In “Get On Up”

August 4th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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In 2012 James Brown’s biography The Life and Music of James Brown was published, providing insight into the King of Soul’s entrepreneurial spirit. Known as the “Hardest-Working Man In Show Business,” Brown owned three record labels, various restaurants, and even a few radio stations. Besides corporations, Brown also notably created James Brown Food Stamps. Although not included in the story line in the singer’s recent biopic, Get On Up, Chadwick Boseman, who played the legendary singer, and Dan Akroyd, who took on the role of Ben Bart (Brown’s manager) revealed information on the singer’s past financial ventures during a recent press conference for the film.

Reflecting on learning interesting facts about Brown, Boseman said:

” The most surprising business venture was the James Brown Food Stamps. It was a part of him wanting to recycle money within in the black community before it goes outside of the community. It was actually James’ idea and obviously it is not still around but it was the most surprising thing to learn about him.”

Akroyd added:

“Nothing James did as an entrepreneur surprised me. He has a wide range of entrepreneur experiences; he knew how to handle people, money and balance an [accounting] book. Brown especially knew how to make a tour more profitable or highlight another artist. He also had his various radio stations and merchandising. Brown just got it and that had to do with him working from a very early age. Nothing surprised me with Brown, so when you hear he did various things I would say “oh yeah, of course he did that” because he has the knowledge and knows how to deal with the mechanisms of business.”

Spin magazine reports the James Brown stamps died out as the state of California phased them out of the Los Angeles area where the stamps were generally in use.

To learn more about James Brown’s life, check out Get On Up in theaters now.

“It Was Important For Me Not To Judge Her” Jill Scott Talks About Playing An Abused Woman In “Get On Up”

July 30th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Huffington Post

Source: Huffington Post

The new James Brown biopic, Get On Up, that comes to theaters tomorrow deals with the good, bad and ugly of James Brown’s life. And trust, it’s not all a bed of roses. He’s lived through some very horrific situations. But he didn’t leave all of his demons in the past. It’s a well documented fact that James Brown was abusive to at least one of his wives, Deedee Brown. And the movie doesn’t shy away from that.

Singer, actress, poet, renaissance woman Jill Scott portrays Deedee Brown and there is one scene where we see her being hit. In her recent interview with Huffington Post Live, Jill Scott spoke about how challenging it was for her to play this particular part and how she learned a new lesson about love during the process.

See what she had to say.

Was it hard as a woman not to snap out of character and respond to being hit?

Honestly, being with Chad, he was so-he so embodied the spirit of James Brown that when we were on set, I forgot about Jill Scott. I was Deedee Brown and he was, without a question, James Brown. That was my husband. Between shooting, I’d get him something to eat, I’d make sure that he was fine, I’d massage his back. We were really in the moment.

Was it challenging for you to play this role as a woman, as a mother

It was kind of hard to play someone who loves someone so deeply and has this abusive relationship. You kind of have to forgive and also, not judge. This is not my life. And eventually, they parted ways.

My mother– and I’ll say I–we were in an abusive relationship, early on in my life, I must have been four when it was all over. I give my mother so much credit for walking away from it, being that brave and never looking back. We were never in that situation again. To understand someone who would stay, for a period of time, I really…it was very important for me not to judge her and just love the man.

Even now, she will tell you that she’s very much in love with James Brown, today. So that’s a level of devotion and love. It taught me about love. It’s not always sweet— I’m not trying to say to stay in that relationship. Please don’t stay in an abusive relationship if you’re in one, please don’t stay, please don’t stay, don’t stay.

But at the same time I’m a voyeur and I’m an appreciator of humanity and I’m interested in people. This was a real lesson for me on a different kind of woman, a different kind of love. I only know my version, I only know my brand. But this was a great experience for me and a pleasure to get to know James Brown on a different level.

We all will if you watch the film, you will find out why he was the way he was, why that voice came out of that spirit the way that it did. Why his body moves the way it does. This was the man who was the father of Michael Jackson, the father of Prince, the father of Fela, the father of so many artists. And there’s a reason for it. You don’t just wake up great for nothing. You have to go through the hell sometimes to get to heaven and that’s just the way it is. You’ll see that.


You can watch Jill Scott’s entire interview with Huffington Post in the video below. The domestic violence portion starts around the 2:20 mark.

James Brown’s Family Talks “The GodFather Of Soul” At The “Get On Up” Premiere

July 25th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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On Monday, we had the pleasure of attending the red carpet for the premiere of the James Brown biopic Get On Up. We got to speak to the Brown family, including James’ daughter, his grandson and youngest son. The youngest son, James Joseph Brown II, 13, recalled his fondest memory with his father, his grandson spoke about helping Chadwick learn the moves and mannerisms and then his daughter, DeAnna spoke about the cultural and historical impact her father had on music.

She said, “We want them to understand the struggle and how hard it was for the Godfather of Soul to make it. It wasn’t easy.”

Check out our interviews in the video above.

Get On Up: New James Brown Biopic Hits Screens August 1

June 25th, 2014 - By Rich
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Need a reason to move out of your seat other than the fact that it’s summer time? This summer your families’ cookout won’t be the only place to hear James Brown crooning as all your aunts hit the dance floor. On August 1, Get On Up, the James Brown biopic will hit theaters starring Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis and Jill Scott to name a few.

Yo may remember Boseman from 201 ‘s 42 film based on the life of Jackie Robinson. It looks like Boseman is a great choice to retell history’s iconic stories. Get On Up is directed by the same man that brought you the four-time Academy Award-nominated movie The Help, Tate Taylor.

The film give us an unyielding look into the life the Godfather of Soul, rather it is his tumultuous relationship with his mother or poverty -stricken childhood, viewers get part of the story like they never have. While a preteen, Brown was abandoned by his mother who re-apears in his life after the fame.  In the film, viewers are in for a ride on the highs and lows of the evolution of one of the 20th century’s most influential figures.

Boseman is joined by Viola Davis who plays his mother, Jill Scott who plays Brown’s wife, Octavia Spencer who plays Brown’s aunt along with other Tika Sumpter, Nelson Eliis, Lennie James, and Dan Aykroyd.

James Brown passed in 2006 at the age of 73, but he left a legacy full of funk, soul and dance. Brown recorded 16 number-one singles on the Billboard R&B charts and influenced several different genres. And many will most remember his cape routine or the infamous ” Say it loud. I’m Black and I’m proud” mantra that most reincarnate today paying homage and having fun with the late James Brown. 

Watch the trailer below. Get On Up opens August 1.

And here’s the second trailer released.


Will you be going to see Boseman as James Brown?

10 Ratings & Box Office Winners To Look Forward To This Year

March 31st, 2014 - By Candace Smith
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With the sounds of birds chirping before dawn and temperatures inching above 50 degrees, warm days and comfortable nights are not the only things to get excited about this spring and summer season. There are a host of television shows and films to salivate over.

As the critics continue to chatter, take a look at the 10 TV shows and movies we think will usher in top ratings and box office success for the rest of this year.