The family circle JAMES BROWN: ONE YEAR LATER

H
JAMES BROWN: ONE YEAR LATER
The family circle
TEDDY BROWN
(1954): He died in
a car crash near
Elizabethtown,
N.Y., in 1973.
EN
R
LD
I
CH
JAMES JOSEPH
BROWN II (2001):
Attorneys for Mr.
Brown’s estate
have questioned
whether the child
is Mr. Brown’s. His
mother says she
won’t submit him to
DNA testing until all
the other children
undergo testing.
TH
EW
OM
TH
E
Much of the controversy surrounding James Brown’s estate
stems from family uncertainty. Only six children are named
as heirs in his will, but five others are claiming they have a
birthright to the Godfather of Soul’s legacy. Here’s a look at some
of the women in Mr. Brown’s life and the children said
to be a product of those relationships.
EN
TOMI RAE HYNIE: She was known
as Mr. Brown’s fourth wife, but
the legitimacy of the marriage
was called into question after his
death amid allegations that she
wasn’t divorced from a Pakistani
man when she
and Mr. Brown
exchanged
vows in 2001.
TERRY BROWN
(1955)
LARRY BROWN
(1958)
VELMA WARREN: Mr. Brown’s first
wife. They met in Toccoa, Ga.,
when Mr. Brown’s gospel group
sang at her church, according to
his autobiography, James Brown,
The Godfather of Soul. They
married in 1953, separated in
1964 and divorced in 1969.
DARYL BROWN
(1960)
BEA FORD: One of Mr. Brown’s
protégés, she was the wife of soul
singer Joe Tex, Mr. Brown’s labelmate and rival. (Legend has it that Mr.
Brown once fired shots at him after he
mocked his cape routine on stage.)
After Ms. Ford left Mr.
Tex to join the James
Brown Revue, Mr. Tex
released You
Keep Her.
ADRIENNE RODRIGUEZ:
She was Mr. Brown’s third
wife. They met in Los Angeles
when Mr. Brown appeared on
Solid Gold, according to
his autobiography. She
was the hairstylist
and makeup artist
for the show. They
were married
from 1984 to
1996, when
she died after
liposuction surgery.
They did not have
any children.
RUBY SHANNON: Mr. Brown
spotted her in the crowd
at one of his shows
in Los Angeles, and
she became his onthe-road girlfriend
in the early 1960s.
When she became
pregnant, she left Mr.
Brown and returned to
her family in Houston.
She died in 1975.
CHRISTINE MITCHELL:
She met Mr.
Brown at one of
his concerts in
Miami after he
spotted her in
the crowd and
arranged for her
to go backstage.
They went on to
have a long-term
relationship. She died of
meningitis in 1991.
JEANETTE MITCHELL
(1970)
DEIDRE JENKINS:
She was Mr.
Brown’s second wife.
In his autobiography, he
says she was from Baltimore and they
probably first met when he was
playing a gig at a Maryland
beach. They were married
from 1970 to 1981.
MARY FLORENCE BROWN:
She is the founder
and president of the
Sacramento, Calif.,
chapter of the James
Brown Fan Club.
LARHONDA
PETITT
(1961)
YVONNE FAIR: Another of Mr.
Brown’s musical protégés,
she got her start as a
member of the Chantels
and the James Brown
Revue. She recorded
I Found You with
Mr. Brown, which
he later altered
into the megahit
I Got You (I Feel
Good). Ms. Fair went on
to play a role in the movie Lady
Sings the Blues and pursued
a solo career in the 1970s.
VENISHA BROWN
She died in 1994.
(1965)
LEA JENSEN:
She met Mr.
Brown at a concert
in Vancouver and
flew to
a few of his concerts in the
United States. She was 17 years old
when she gave birth to Mr. Brown’s
daughter.
DEANNA B. THOMAS
(1969)
NICOLE PARRIS
(1968)
YAMMA B. LUMAR
(1972)
MICHAEL DEON BROWN (1968):
His mother waged a protracted
battle against Mr. Brown for child
support. According to Augusta
Chronicle archives, the Superior
Court of Sacramento County,
Calif., ordered Mr. Brown in 1969
to pay $500 per month. He was
also ordered to pay $33,000 in
attorney’s fees and costs and
was later sued for not paying
$3,536.52 of the sum. Michael
Brown is currently incarcerated
at Rio Cosumnes Correctional
Center in Elk Grove, Calif., on
COLOR
KEY:
WHO’S
WHO?
Heirs named in
James Brown’s
will whose
mothers were
married to the
Godfather
Heirs named
in Mr. Brown’s
will whose
mothers were
not married to
the Godfather
Marriage
to Mr. Brown
did not produce
any children
drug paraphernalia and parole
violation charges. He writes an
Internet blog called “Being the
son of the ‘Godfather of Soul.’ ” In
a telephone interview with The
Chronicle, he said he has not
undergone DNA testing, but he
plans to do so next year. He did
provide a photocopy of a 1969
paternity test comparing his, his
mother’s and Mr. Brown’s blood
types, concluding “that blood
grouping studies do not exclude
Mr. James Brown as the possible
father of Michael Deon Brown.”
Children who
have come
forward since Mr.
Brown’s death
and have been
confirmed by
DNA testing
DNA testing
has not been
conducted to
determine
whether Mr.
Brown is the
father
DNA testing
has not been
conducted to
determine whether
Mr. Brown is the
father; the mother’s
marriage to him
is in question
– Johnny Edwards, Staff Writer
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