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James Brown’s upcoming biopic Get On Up will introduce him to a whole new generation. With Brown’s ability to master funk, pop, soul, and disco in his tunes, it’s no surprise that the Godfather of Soul has played a huge part in some of the biggest acts of today.

As we get closer to the release of the upcoming flick, we took a look back at some artists who were heavily influenced by the legendary singer.

From Michael Jackson to Lil Kim, Brown’s music transcends through them all. Check out the photo gallery below for all the acts and be sure to check out Get On Up when it hits theaters August 1st.

Mick Jagger

The head of the Rolling Stones and also one of the film’s producers, the singer’s iconic Chicken Dance was also influenced by James Brown. In an attempt to dance like Brown after he left the stage, the Chicken Dance was born.

Michael Jackson

Throughout his career, the King of Pop credited his dance moves to Brown and even honored him at the 2002 BET Awards. He also sang at his funeral in Augusta, Georgia, in 2006.


The R&B crooner says that he learned about soul music and the art of performing through James Brown. After their Grammy performance in 2005, the Godfather of Soul dubbed Usher the ‘Godson of Soul.’

David Bowie

David Bowie and James Brown shared a special connection through their music. After Bowie began working with Brown’s old guitarist Carlos Alomar, they created one of Bowie’s biggest hits titled “Fame.” Brown, who was engulfed by Bowie, used Alomar’s riffs to make his arguably strangest song known to date called “Hot (I Need To Be Loved.)”

Public Enemy

Chuck D & Flavor Flav always paid homage to Brown in their music. Some of Brown’s music can be heard on “Public Enemy #1” and “It Takes A Nation To Hold Us Back.”


James Brown and Prince have always had a mutual respect for one another. During a performance in 1985, Brown invited a young Prince to the stage with him. Also in attendance was Michael Jackson.

Janelle Monae

Labeled “The Modern Day James Brown,” Janelle Monae’s eclectic dance moves and powerhouse voice remind us of James Brown in his prime.

Afrika Bambaataa

One of the first acts to honor Brown in hip-hop was Afrika Bambaataa. Influenced by the Godfather growing up, the hip-hop pioneer teamed up with Brown for the 1984 single, “Unity.”

Chris Rock

Comedian Chris Rock paid homage to Brown during his popular TV show, Everybody Hates Chris. Brown’s “The Payback” became part of a storyline when Chris wanted to use the record to showcase his new talent DJ’ing.

Eric B & Rakim

The hip-hop duo also sampled Brown on some of their tracks, including “Eric B. For President” and “I Know You Got Soul.”

Notorious B.I.G

The late Biggie Smalls sampled Brown’s 1971 hit, “Blues & Pants” on his single “Dreams.”

Jay Z

One of hip-hop’s biggest faces used Brown’s production credits for “You Don’t Know” for “The Blueprint.” Brown produced Bobby Byrd’s “I’m Not To Blame,” which was used in the song.

Lil Kim

Ms. Jones kept her debut album funky when she used a track from Brown’s album, “James Brown Funky People Part 2,” to create her smash single “No Time,” featuring Puff Daddy. Kim used Myra Barnes, aka Vicki Anderson’s “The Message From the Soul Sisters,” to grasp the feeling of soul on the hip-hop track.


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