On Christmas Day, the world lost the Godfather of Soul.
In an age of scandal, we often lose track of what we will miss when a figure like James is gone. Instead, we relished watching James get into trouble with the law rather than celebrating his accomplishments. Now that he has passed, we'll all be missing out on what The Hardest Working Man In Show Business brought to the world.
I'm just as bad as anyone I'll admit: I loved when James had his face splashed across the headlines with his hair "looking like a bunch of spiders havin' a meeting on his head". But who didn't dip their shoulders in the rhythm to "Sex Machine"? Who didn't love the James Brown grunting and screaming? Who didn't have their own impression of that signature James Brown screaming and grunting? Who didn't love seeing James in "Undercover Brother" taunting Chris Kattan to say it "Loud"? Hell, we all did.
But do you know how James Brown was truly larger than life? Because he was featured on the Simpsons as himself. That is how you know you've made it. Soul Brother Number One definitely made it.