Net Worth: $100 Million
- Source of Wealth Singer-songwriter, Musician, Record producer
- Nationality United States
American singer and songwriter,James Joseph Brown has an estimated net worth of $100 million.
“Soul Brother Number One,” “the Godfather of Soul,” “the Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” “Mr. Dynamite” — those are mighty titles, but no one can question that James Brown earned them more than any other performer. Other singers were more popular, others were equally skilled, but few other African-American musicians were so influential over the course of popular music. And no other musician, pop or otherwise, put on a more exciting, exhilarating stage show: Brown’s performances were marvels of athletic stamina and split-second timing. Through the gospel-impassioned fury of his vocals and the complex polyrhythms of his beats, Brown was a crucial midwife in not just one, but two revolutions in black American music. He was one of the figures most responsible for turning R&B into soul and he was, most would agree, the figure most responsible for turning soul music into the funk of the late ’60s and early ’70s. After the mid-’70s, he did little more than tread water artistically; his financial and drug problems eventually got him a controversial prison sentence. Yet in a sense, his music is now more influential than ever, as his voice and rhythms have been sampled on innumerable hip-hop recordings, and critics have belatedly hailed his innovations as among the most important in all of rock or soul. Brown’s rags-to-riches-to-rags story has heroic and tragic dimensions of mythic resonance.
Born into poverty in the South, he ran afoul of the law by the late ’40s on an armed robbery conviction. With the help of singer Bobby Byrd’s family, Brown gained parole and started a gospel group with Byrd, changing their focus to R&B as the rock revolution gained steam. The Flames, as the Georgian group was known in the mid-’50s, signed to Federal/King and had a huge R&B hit right off the bat with the wrenching, churchy ballad “Please, Please, Please.” By that point, the Flames had become James Brown & the Famous Flames; the charisma, energy, and talent of Brown made him the natural star attraction. All of Brown’s singles over the next two years flopped, as he sought to establish his own style, recording material that was obviously derivative of heroes like Roy Brown, Hank Ballard, Little Richard, and Ray Charles.
In 2004, Brown was diagnosed with prostate cancer but successfully fought the disease.By 2006, it was in remission and Brown, then 73, began a global tour dubbed the Seven Decades of Funk World Tour.Late in the year while at a routine dentist appointment, the singer was diagnosed with pneumonia. He was admitted to the hospital for treatment but died of heart failure a few days later, in the early morning hours of Christmas Day.A public viewing was held at Apollo Theater in Harlem, followed by a private ceremony in his hometown of Augusta, GA.