James Brown

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Steve Winwood (Traffic)
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What’s in a name?

When it comes to James Brown, the name is all you need. He’s Soul Brother Number One, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite and then some. He is the indefatigable forefather of soul, funk and rap, and a performer like no other.

Hall of Fame Essay


Michael Hill

James Brown once said of Elvis Presley, “He taught white America to get down.” Brown himself did Elvis one better in that regard: he encouraged ev­eryone to do it. Brown, an indefatigable performer who still maintains a grueling  touring schedule for has fine-tuned funk revue, has earned many titles over the years.

He’s been called “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.” As an impoverished child of the De­pression, Brown  picked cotton, shined shoes and danced for spare change on the streets. He also served time in a reformatory and  tried his hand at boxing and baseball. When a leg injury put an end to his big-league pitching aspirations, Brown turned to music.

The Program Cover from the 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
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James Brown_quote
a man whose individual style of singing, writing, playing, and moving - second to none.
Steve Winwood