James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006), also known as “The Godfather of Soul” was one of the founding fathers of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century popular music and dance.In a career that spanned six decades, Brown influenced the development of several music genres.
Beginning as a gospel singer, Brown first came to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of The Flames with the ballads "Please, Please, Please" and "Try Me". Brown's success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", "I Got You" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World". By the early 1970s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of The J.B.'s with records such as "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine" and "The Payback".
Brown recorded 16 number-one singles on the Billboard R&B charts. Brown also holds the record as the artist to have charted the most singles on the Billboard Hot 100 which did not reach number one on that chart. Brown was honored by many institutions including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn's analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, Hot R&B Songs, James Brown is ranked as number one in The Top 500 Artists. Brown is ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone's list of its 100 greatest artists of all time.