Published May 16, 2012Chuck Brown, who is widely accepted as the pioneer of the funk sub-genre go-go, died today (May 16) at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 75.
Also known as the "Godfather of Go-Go," Brown was hospitalized earlier this month due to pneumonia. He had been performing up until close to his death, but cancelled recent shows due to his health.
Brown's career dates back to the '60s, but it was in the '70s that he had the greatest impact, as he became synonymous with the regional funk movement known as go-go, which revolved around Washington, DC. He is best remembered for the 1979 tune "Bustin' Loose," which was at hit upon its release and is now frequently heard at Washington Nationals baseball games.
The Grammy-nominated Brown was a local legend in Washington, DC, although the go-go movement never fully took hold outside of the singer-guitarist's hometown.
The Washington Post notes that Brown had a troubled early life and spent several years in prison after shooting a person in what was said to be self-defence. Once released, Brown turned his attention to music and remained a staple of DC's music scene for decades.
Listen to "Bustin' Loose" below.