Legendary Godfather Of Soul James Brown’s Passing Is Still A Mystery Seventeen Years Later
Soul Funk legend James Brown’s passing has been the topic of conversation over the years. Since his passing in 2006, many believe his life was taken following evidence from his final days. Those close to Brown continue to push for the truth, with recent investigations into it leading to no results. Is someone trying to hide what really happened to James?
James Brown was born on May 3rd, 1933. He got his start in Georgia as a gospel singer before moving into the soul and R&B realms. Brown’s career would go on to span over 50 years, and he would become known as the “hardest working man in show business.” Brown influenced everyone from Prince to Michael Jackson to Bruno Mars. Brown would perform well into his later life, before illness began to affect him. James Brown had type 1 diabetes that went untreated for years.
He was eventually treated for prostate cancer as well. James had a reputation for working while sick and often did not complain when he was under the weather. Unfortunately, he was turned away from a dental visit on December 23rd, 2006, when the dentist noticed Brown was incoherent and dazed. James Brown went to a hospital where he was admitted, passing two days later on Christmas.
James Brown was 73 years old at his time of passing, and it was ruled as congestive heart failure, resulting from complications of pneumonia. Those close to Brown suspected something much more sinister was at hand. It took months to bury Brown, and his daughter Yamma Brown reportedly refused an autopsy of his body. The doctor who signed Brown’s death certificate pushed for one, suggesting he was “highly suspicious that somebody perhaps could have given [Brown] an illicit substance that led to his demise.”
Friends of the late singer were not invited to his funeral, which took place three months later in March. At the time, his team was already involved in a battle over his estate. The fight was eventually settled, with his music recently landing in the hands of Primary Wave Music “for approximately $90 million.” In a press release, it was confirmed that “PWM has purchased the assets of the late singer’s estate, including music rights, real estate, and control over Brown’s name and likeness.” According to, Russell L. Bauknight, the estate’s executor since 2009, the money would “endow Brown’s scholarship trust in perpetuity.”
In 2020, Jacque Hollander reportedly handed over evidence that would prove that James Brown’s life was taken. According to CNN, the bin was returned to Hollander two years later, missing key evidence, with no investigation done. Key witnesses have since passed away, and there is no proof that the courts did any work to obtain Brown’s medical records or interview any of the parties suspected of harming James.
The case has gotten lost in the court system and fallen victim to the global pandemic, a shift in the DA’s office, and waning interest in finding out what really happened to James Brown. Andre White, a close friend of Brown’s who carried a vial of his blood for testing, passed away in 2020 and was never able to get it tested and find out what truly happened to his friend.