White people like funk music

Soul legend : James Brown laid out in the Apollo Theater

New York - "The King is dead. Long live the King," said a cardboard sign that an admirer of Brown held up in the crowd at the Apollo Theater. In the concert hall, where his career began in 1956, the late singer was laid out so that his followers could say goodbye to him. Long beats formed in front of the Apollo in the early hours of the morning.

The funeral procession crossed Harlem around noon. Brown's body was laid out on a white carriage, drawn by white horses, surrounded by the crowd. When the train arrived at the Apollo Theater, people were singing Brown's lyrics. Stuart Gray, a 47-year-old engineer, had been waiting outside the concert hall since early that morning. "I'm a kid of funk music," he explained. "James Brown was a pioneer. He wasn't a songwriter, he was an inventor. Everyone has imitated him."

64-year-old Queen McFarland first saw Brown in 1956, in a local music store. "He's our black Elvis Presley. I'm here to thank him," she enthused. "He gave us pride, he told us blacks had to be proud," she added. Another Brown fan, Hampton Gould, smiled when he saw the lines in front of the Apollo: "It reminds me of the lines in front of the Apollo for James Brown's concerts. Look at the line today: He's walking the same Way he came. "

Funeral in Georgia

Brown is slated to be buried in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, on Saturday. A large public ceremony in Brown's honor is planned for Saturday in the Augusta Congress Palace named after him. Thousands of fans are expected here too. Before the big public celebration, Brown's family will say goodbye in a private ceremony on Friday. The soul star died on Monday at the age of 73 in an Atlanta, Georgia hospital after suffering from pneumonia of heart failure.

In 1956 Brown had his first big hit with "Please, Please, Please". He achieved worldwide fame in the 1960s with pieces such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", "It's A Man's World" and "I Got You (I Feel Good)". "Sex Machine" followed in 1970. In total, the musician released more than 75 albums. Brown came into conflict with the law as a teenager, making headlines with drug trafficking and domestic violence, among other things. In 1988 he was sentenced to six years in prison, was released prematurely after two and a half years, and was soon back on stage. His tour schedule was full and planned for concerts in Europe again for the coming year. (tso / AFP)

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