James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and recording artist. He is the originator of funk music and is a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance. He has been referred to by himself and others as "The Godfather of Soul", "Mr. Dynamite", "Soul Brother Number One" and "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business".
James Brown was born in Barnwell, South Carolina on May 3, 1933 at 5:10pm to Susie Brown and Joseph ("Joe") Gardner (who changed his surname to Brown after Mattie Brown who raised him). Although Brown was to be named after his father Joseph, his first and middle names were mistakenly reversed on his birth certificate. He therefore became James Joseph Brown, Jr. As a young child, Brown was called Junior. When he later lived with his aunt and cousin, he was called Little Junior since his cousin's nickname was also Junior. He was of African American and Native American (Apache) descent through his father, and had Asian ancestry.
As a young child, Brown and his family lived in extreme poverty in nearby Elko, South Carolina, which at the time was an impoverished town in Barnwell County. When Brown was two years