James Brown passed away on Christmas morning, and while Christians around the world commemorated the birth of a Savior, at least a few of us also mourned the loss of a Legend.
One of the first albums I bought in college was Live at the Apollo, on the advice of a cherished friend, and it literally changed the way I looked at music.
The Hardest Working Man in Show Business was admitted into the hospital on Sunday for pneumonia, having just completed an appearance on Friday, where he handed out toys to kids for Christmas. He was scheduled to appear on New Year's Eve in New York City.
The Godfather of Soul was no saint - his life included ugly incidents with drugs and spousal abuse. In an age where Hollywood is drawn like moths to the flame when it comes to Musician biopics (see Walk The Line and Ray, to name just a few), it seems like it will only be a matter of a very short time before someone puts together the script for the next blockbuster, based on the life of James Brown. He'll become the flavor of the month - everyone will be buying James Brown CDs again, and talking about what a genius he was, and how they were such a huge fan.
And that seems sad to me. Too many times, we really fail to see the genius of an artist until after they've passed away. Without James Brown, Funk would not exist as we know it today. Nor would Soul. Nor would Rap or R&B.
While James Brown is no longer here, his music and legacy remain, and will continue to influence generations to come.