By Roland Stewart | Mar 4 2022

There’s a reason why James Brown is known as the “Godfather of Soul.” His influence in funk, soul, and hip-hop is unmatched. He has a lot of crazy stories behind his persona. Here 5 wild stories from the greatest entertainer of all time.

He Repeatedly Shot Holes in His Wife’s Mink Coat

It wasn’t uncommon that Brown got numerous allegations for domestic abuse. In one case, he shot up holes in his wife’s mink coat and proceeded to light up her whole closet. Yikes!

He Got a 16-Year Prison Sentence at the Age of 15

It was hard for Brown to find jobs, so he stole from parked cars. He got 8-16 years for the crime, but jail gave him a chance to develop his entertainment skills. Everyone loved his singing, that he got the nickname “Music Box.” Even the warden and parole board were impressed with his attitude and talent, that he was released after 3 years. Good thing because he was able to make a name for himself in music.

Promoted His Aunt’s Moonshine Business

Unfortunately, Brown’s mother abandoned him when he was 4 years old. His aunt became his maternal figure and she ran a cathouse and a moonshine business. Even though he promoted her business, he also went to church. That’s where he got a formal look into music and started to develop his talent.

He Fined His Backup Musicians

Brown kept very strict guidelines with his backup musicians. They couldn’t be late, they couldn’t be unprepared when it came to practicing songs, and they had to be dressed well. If they received any infractions, that was a high fine. Brown made tons of money just off of his backup musicians.

Brown Was a Richard Little Impersonator

Before Brown made it big, he depended on Little Richard for some exposure. Although they didn’t look alike, Brown had a mean impression. This nearly backfired when the crowd knew he was a fraud, but they stayed anyway because Brown was just so good at what he did.


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