James Brown has died after complications from pneumonia triggered problems with his heart. Brown, who had more than his share of problems with the law and never claimed to lead the life of a choirboy, was a massive influence on hundreds of well known performers. In a somewhat ironic twist, Brown’s death was announced the day that Eddie Murphy finally got to do more than a three minute version of his JB impersonation in the hit movie Dreamgirls.

Musicians can be measured by chart success or how they impacted others. Jimi, for example, was hardly Mr. Hot 100. Neither was Led Zeppelin, but I somehow doubt either would be denied a place in popular music’s pantheon. Brown brought us both, and for all his personal demons, was still out there kicking out new music, well past 70 years of age.

God rest you, JB.

Spinning In The CD Player Tonight: I didn’t want to play any song that said “I feel good” so a little loop of his massive comback on the Rocky IV soundtrack, Living in America. If you haven’t seen the film, try to catch Brown’s performance taunting a Russian boxer during the song Livin’ in America. It was the time of Springsteen’s Born in the USA and The Scorpions singing about the wall coming down, but the Godfather of Soul put it to a faux Commie boxer.