The red carpet premier of the new James Brown biopic, Get On Up, was well attended by the legend’s family. His youngest son, James Brown II (12), showed up with his mother, Tomi Rae Hynie. The young man was excited to be there and even showed off his own talents when Mick Jagger challenged him to a dance-off!


Also present was Deedee Jenkins, the Father of Funk’s second wife. Their two daughters came out as well, Dr. Yamma Brown and Deanna Brown-Thomas. “His life story to me is survival”, Deanna explained. “Coming up in the segregated South, poor and uneducated, his musical abilities were definitely a gift from God.”

James Brown, dubbed “The Godfather of Soul” among many other things, died in 2006 at the age of 73. He was still recording and performing at the time that he fell ill, and had to cancel concerts because of what turned out to be his terminal condition. His rise to fame in the 1950s remains one of the music industry’s most prominent rags-to-riches stories. In his lifetime he recorded 16 number one Billboard hits, and is ranked #7 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He was a musical pioneer, a charismatic performer, and a social activist.

Get On Up will follow James (portrayed by Chadwick Boseman) throughout his journey to the top. It is directed by Tate Taylor (The Help), and set for release August 1.

Photos: Jemal Countess

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