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Iconic performer James Brown who is not just credited with being the Godfather of Soul, but the foundation of Hip-Hop, will get his just due in a four-hour, two-part documentary heading to A&E in February.

James Brown: Say It Loud covers Brown’s trajectory from a poverty-stricken upbringing and a stint in jail to becoming one of the most groundbreaking musicians of all time. While other docs have previously been done on him as well as the biopic Get On Up with the late Chadwick Boseman as Brown, this latest one promises new, previously unseen archival footage.

Producers on Say It Loud include Mick Jagger, who also produced the 2014 HBO documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown through his Jagged Films. It was directed by Alex Gibney, who won a Grammy and a Peabody Award for the film.

Questlove and his producing partners Shawn Gee and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter are on board as well.

Director Deborah Riley Draper (Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, The Legacy of Black Wall Street and Twenty Pearls: The Story of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority) will be at the helm this time. Her involvement and the trailer seem to focus on placing Brown in his proper context as a pioneering African American who in his early years preached a message of Black pride and empowerment.“

“The life of James Brown is significant not only to understand his immense musical impact, which inspires us and other artists to this day, but also for the deep and lasting impression he has had on American culture,” Questlove and Black Thought said in a statement. “Brown’s life is a crucial and timely story of struggle, redemption, and self-identity and we are honored to have the chance to share it.”

Brown died on Christmas Day in 2006, sparking a 15-year court battle between his heirs which included his then-wife and his nine acknowledged children. Though he had a very specific will that included scholarships for underprivileged kids in his native Georgia, his estate wasn’t finally settled until 2021.

Musicians and family members appearing in the documentary include Jagger, Questlove, Bootsy Collins, The Rev. Al Sharpton, Chuck D, Dallas Austin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and his children Deanna, Yamma and Larry Brown.

“He was a brilliant performer who inspired me from the beginning and was deeply committed to the Civil Rights movement,” Jagger said. “I have always admired James and learned so much from him. I look forward to bringing the series to life.”

James Brown: Say it Loud premieres on A&E Monday, Feb. 19, and Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m.

Watch the trailer below.


Hold My Cape: James Brown’s ‘Say It Loud’ Documentary Comes To A&E In February  was originally published on