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James Brown remembered

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(CNN) -- James Brown, one of the pioneers of soul music, has died at 73.

CNN.com asked readers what they most admired about the "Godfather of Soul." Here is a selection of their responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity:

Pete Burke of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
[I was] working backstage at Woodstock '99. James and his crew were about to go onstage and formed a prayer circle right in front of me. They said a few quick prayers and went onstage to do one of the more memorable performances of Woodstock that year. He will be missed.

Ken Edwards of Las Vegas, Nevada In 1968, I saw the James Brown show in San Antonio, Texas. It was the best band I had ever seen and I am 52 years old now. I never forgot it.

J. Amoros of Hudsonville, Michigan I don't feel so good.

Daniel Garcia of Hutchinson, Kansas
I remember when I was 17 years old in 1964, I saw him in Wichita, Kansas. He was just as they said, "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business." And when he sang "Bewildered," women screamed. He will be missed greatly.

Wilson Lee of Nashville, Tennessee I admire how he inspired others to be somebody. He came to Lucy L. Webb School in Greenville, Missouri, in the '60s with the go-go dancers. All of the little boys' eyes jumped out of their heads. This was an elementary school, and we just thought the world of him. He inspired us to go on, so we did, later completing school and college.

George Monsalvatge of Powder Springs, Georgia
One of my favorite memories of James Brown was all the Christmas decorations at his house on Walton Way in Augusta, Georgia, in the 1970s. Mr. Brown's house was decorated with hundreds of decorations every Christmas season. The house was open to the public and was a great treat for the kids. His music touched billions of people, and he was always willing to reach out to the less fortunate. He will truly be missed.

Marcus Ronaldi of Daly City, California
[I] saw him in August in San Francisco, and he still very much had it -- great showman and entertainer.

Jan Heuker of Evergem, Belgium
I am a fan of the late Mr. Brown; I admired him for his "energy" at his age, his flexibility of body and soul. He is for me the best soul singer of all time; he shall always be with us.

Mike Milliner of Ontario, California
I'll never forget when I was a young boy in the '60s, James Brown came to Toledo, Ohio. He came to the Toledo Sports Arena, which wasn't that far but we were poor and dared not ask my parents for the ticket money. ... James Brown, knowing that a lot of the people in the poorer neighborhoods wanted to see him but couldn't afford it, declared that any child presenting $1 at the box office was to get a ticket to the concert. James Brown cared about and understood his people -- even when that may not have been the most popular thing to do. "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)." Thanks, "Godfather."

Diane Simpson of Santa Monica, California
I saw James Brown perform at "The T.A.M.I. Show" in Santa Monica in 1965. The show included the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye and many, many others. James Brown stole the show.

Mel Rivera of Levelland, Texas
I think that, along with Prince and Michael Jackson, James Brown was one of the greatest dancers of all time. He was an innovator in dance music, such as funk and disco, inspiring many artists such as Sly and the Family Stone and George Clinton. Last but not least, he was "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" and the "Godfather of Soul."

Bill Agle of Charlotte, North Carolina
I was shocked to see this news. As an acoustic musician playing in the '70s & 80s -- I respected him mostly because he started something completely new. [He was] a musical pioneer who blasted his way onto the music scene. Nobody could touch this man as his talent was huge. He will be missed by people of all color. Thanks Mr. Brown -- for all the times I listened to your music. What a great ride.

Lorraine Walker of Rochester, Pennsylvania I am so saddened to hear about the death of a legend. [He was] one of the greatest influences of the music industry -- period. I mean, all rock 'n' roll should pay homage to James Brown. The Beatles, Rolling Stones ... you name it, they have imitated, but never duplicated the infamous James Brown.

Melvin Robinson of Tampa, Florida
James Brown was indeed "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business." His feet would glide across the stage in a magical rollerblade, moonwalk, mashed potato amalgamation as he ever so gracefully slid into a leg split and then reversed the split and spun like a ballerina. His voice would bring tears to the most stonewalled heart and move the feet of the most devoted wallflower. He was bad, bad, super bad. Farewell "Godfather."

Bill Cole of Nashville, Tennessee
One of the first and best concerts that I ever saw was James Brown and his Famous Flames in Nashville in the mid-'60s. The "Godfather" was unbelievable, as was his band. And nothing except time had changed when I saw him again at the Ryman Auditorium here in Nashville in the late '90s. He was the best and nobody could come close to him -- in soul, in dancing or his abundance of electric energy. God Bless you, James Brown. And keep it funky in heaven.

Read more e-mail tributes to James Brown


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Radio personality Kamasami Kong hangs out with James Brown in Osaka, Japan, in 1999.

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