James Brown’s Body: The Godfather of Soul May Be Travelling Without One

On Christmas day of 2006, James Brown died at the age of 73.   The official cause of death was determined to be congestive heart failure, brought on by complications with pneumonia.   To anyone that remembers his haggard mugshot and takes into account the age of this man and the life he lived, it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.  He was an amazing innovator who had a great run and left a stamp on the world forever, but it appeared that “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business” was all worked out.  Although the 3 separate New Years Eve performances/appearances that he was slated to make were canceled due to his demise, that didn’t mean that the spectacle was over. In fact, there were 3 separate memorial services held for him instead.  The first was at the Apollo Theater in NY on Dec. 28th, followed by a private memorial for family and friends in North Augusta, SC on the 29th, and then another large scale event on the 30th at James Brown Theater in Augusta, Ga.  Throughout these various services/presentations, the following was included: an open gold casket, a white glass-encased horse drawn carriage to transport it through the streets of New York, nachos, Michael Jackson, Bootsy Collins, a dance by MC Hammer, costume changes for the body, and more (yes… we’re fucking serious).

As is far too common these days with the deaths of celebrities, and even more-so legends, there were a lot of disputes regarding both Brown‘s will and where his final resting place would be.  Much like we witnessed last year with the death of Michael Jackson, family members and others actually argued about where to rest the musician’s body.  They had already transported it all over the goddamn East Coast as it was, so I guess that they figured that they could shift it around a bit more.  I’m sure it’s all in keeping with whatever they feel James would have desired because, honestly, who wouldn’t want their lifeless corpse dragged around by horses, redressed repeatedly, put on display, and then buried and reburied after their death?

First, his body was temporarily placed in a temperature controlled room at his estate, before being moved to an “undisclosed location“, as his common-law widow, Tomi Rae Hynie, and his children viciously argued about where it’s permanent resting place should be.  It only took a little over 10 weeks after his death for both sides to “amicably” arrive at an agreement.  The decision was to build a public mausoleum and–in an effort to keep milking the cash cow–transform the late legend’s estate into an attraction the likes of Graceland.  Until then, it was chosen for the body to be held temporarily in a crypt at the home of Brown‘s daughter Deanna Brown-Thomas.  Another private ceremony was held at Thomas‘ home, which was officiated by Reverend Al Sharpton, just like the previous 3.  Since that date on March 10, 2007, this is where the body has been laid to rest (or rather, “SNOOZE”) for the last 3 years.  Or has it?

As reported by the New York post, a 48 year-old woman by the name of LaRhonda Pettit is actually claiming that JB‘s body has gone missing. Although Pettit is not one of James’ 6 children that were listed in his will, she is reported to be “one of 12 people to come forward since Brown’s death claiming to be one of his illegitimate kids” and she has actually passed a blood test to confirm it.  How she is sure that the body has been removed, we don’t know.  What we do know is that she is convinced that her illegitimate father’s death was actually a result of foul play.  Although she acknowledges that he was a 73 year old man with a history of repeated drug abuse, by stating, “‘It was common knowledge that my daddy took illegal drugs,”  she follows it up by claiming, “He was also hooked on various prescription painkillers.  At the very least there were enablers who helped cause his death.”  Pettit also believes that the removal of the body is a part of an elaborate plot to prevent her from finally getting an autopsy done on the corpse.  Much of her suspicions stem from her claim that one was never officially conducted.

I’d like to believe that, if his body is indeed missing, it’s because James Brown got tired of the bullshit, got up by his own damn self, and simply danced the fuck off.  My other vision is very similar; however, it involves a re-animation effort by Dr. Funkenstein.  Wherever zombie James Brown is right now, I hope he’s breaking off some crazy-sweet dance moves like the ones below.


WARNING: Zombie Sex Machine on the Loose

If you see zombie James Brown struttin’ about, we request that you do not try to apprehend him yourself.  Please contact the authorities, immediately!  Please also keep in mind that professionals are the only individuals who can adequately determine if his speech is, indeed of the undead nature, or that of original James Brown himself.

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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