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James Brown: Harlem to honour late legend

James Brown

Story by Jack Foley

THE body of late singing legend James Brown is to be taken through Harlem in New York in a horse-drawn carriage before lying in state at the Apollo Theater, it has been revealed.

His casket will then travel back to his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, for a public funeral on Saturday (December 30, 2006).

Civil rights leader, Al Sharpton, predicted the occasion will be “a royal day in Harlem”, especially because the Apollo was such a favourite venue of the singer’s.

Brown, affectionately known as “the Godfather of Soul”, died of heart failure brought on by pneumonia in Atlanta on Christmas Day. He was 73.

During his career, the singer found much of his success at the Apollo and was always thrilled that people would queue to see him.

“Every time he played the Apollo, he’d say: “How many people outside?” explained Rev Sharpton. “I’d say: “It’s around the corner. It’s two blocks.”

“My dream is that I can say: “Mr Brown, they were lined up for you one last time.’”

Rev Sharpton went on to tell the BBC that the Harlem event would be “the kind of homecoming we haven’t seen in a long time, if ever, in the community”.

In Augusta, meanwhile, Mayor Deke Copenhaver said James Brown Square would become the focus of attention in the city.

A private service is to be conducted for family and close friends on Friday before the public funeral takes place on Saturday at the James Brown Stadium.

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