Today, legendary musician Chuck Brown passed away at the age of 75, with a reputation as the “Godfather of Go-Go,” and as a music innovator in the Washington, D.C. area.
According to reports, Brown passed away Wednesday (May 16) in a Baltimore hospital.
Chuck Brown, the gravelly voiced bandleader who capitalized on funk’s percussive pulse to create go-go, the genre of music that has soundtracked life in black Washington for more than three decades, died May 16 at the Johns Hopkins University hospital in Baltimore. He was 75. The death was confirmed by his manager Tom Goldfogle. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Mr. Brown had been hospitalized for pneumonia. (Washington Post)
The musician’s tenure in the entertainment industry dated back four decades.
A bandleader, singer and guitarist, Brown was one of the rare go-go artists to gain national attention. Leading the Soul Searchers in the 1970s, Brown was fundamental in the creation of the go-go sound — a bass-heavy mixture of driving percussion, funk and, later, hip-hop. Brown had said he was striving to find his own unique sound before it became the sound of the city. He hit No. 1 on the R&B charts with “Bustin’ Loose” in 1978 and had another hit with “We Need Some Money (Bout Money)” in 1984. (NBC Washington)
Following the news of his passing, UGK’s Bun B paid homage to Brown.
“RIP Chuck Brown! DC Go-Go legend!,” he tweeted. (Bun B’s Twitter)
Rap veteran Big Daddy Kane proclaimed what the passing of Brown meant to him.
“Another Godfather gone. RIP Chuck Brown. Go-Go won’t be the same without you..” (Big Daddy Kane’s Twitter)
Fellow New York vet Freddie Foxxx also commented on Brown’s unexpected death.
“RIP…. CHUCK BROWN.. DC Stand Up For The OG!! Werd. He truly took his skills to the finish line. #GoGo” (Freddie Foxxx’s Twitter)
Check out some past Chuck Brown footage below: