Thousands Say Goodbye To Brown
Casket opened for fans at the singers first live venue
An army of grieving fans gathered in New York yesterday to bid a final farewell to James Brown, who died on Monday aged 73.
The Godfather of Soul was carried in a gold casket through the streets of Harlem by horse-drawn carriage, accompanied by thousands of fans dancing to his music, to the Apollo Theatre. Once there his open casket was displayed on the stage where he made his live debut in 1956.
Outside, classic James Brown cuts blared from shops and portable stereos as the crowds sang along, but inside the auditorium fans queued quietly for a chance to pay their last respects.
Reverend Al Sharpton, black civil rights leader and one-time manager of the singer, was among those who queued. "This man stood for us, the common man," he said. "It was James Brown that with one song erased the word negro from our vocabulary forever and made us say it and say it loud, that we were black and we were proud.
Today Browns body will be flown to his hometown, Augusta, Georgia, for a private funeral.