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The always cool and gravelly sounding Brown, whose rhythmic sounds blended funk, soul and Latin music was born in Gaston, N.C. Whereas he spent some time in jail as a young man, when he was released in 1962, he made the decision to pursue his love of music. Washington D.C. served as Brown’s musical inspiration for most of his nearly five decades-plus musical career. After kicking it around with some bands, Brown formed his group the Soul Searchers.
Brown’s first monster hit “Bustin’ Loose” punctuated the go-go sound, dominating the R&B singles chart in 1979. “Bustin’ Loose” was “the one record I had so much confidence in,” Mr. Brown told The Post in 2001. “I messed with it for two years, wrote a hundred lines of lyrics and only ended up using two lines. . . . It was the only time in my career that I felt like it’s going to be a hit.”
After recording more than 20 albums and selling 1.5 million of them, Brown’s biggest smash to date was the classic “Bustin’ Loose,” The back-in-the-day gold chart topper was sampled by rapper Nelly for his 2002 smash “Hot in Herre.” “Bustin Loose” has also been copped by the Washington Nationals baseball team and used as their home run celebratory song.
In 1984 Brown released the smash single “We Need Some Money” a dance floor staple which truly exemplified what Go-Go music was all about, a call-and-response musical style which involves the audience, as well as beats that linked songs so continuously that bands would play long into the night.
Brown was a bandleader, singer, songwriter, producer, musician, who only last year was nominated for his first Grammy Award for his collaboration with songstress Jill Scott on the song “Love.”
Brown leaves behind two sons, Wiley and Nekos Brown.