James Brown

Brown in 2005, photo credit: stoneflower

Birth Name: James Joseph Brown, Jr.

Date of Birth: May 3, 1933

Place of Birth: Barnwell, South Carolina, U.S.

Date of Death: December 25, 2006

Place of Death: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Ethnicity: African-American

James Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer, and bandleader. He was known as “The Godfather of Soul.” James’s parents, Susie (Behling) and Joseph “Joe” Gardner Brown, were both African-American.

James had said that his father was born under the name Joe Gardner, and later took on the surname Brown after a woman who had helped raise him, Mattie Brown.

James had stated that his paternal grandfather was “pure Indian, a Cherokee,” and that his mother’s ancestry had a “strong Asian element and some American Indian.” James had stated that his maternal grandfather was “highly Asian,” and that his maternal grandmother’s mother was “almost a full-blooded American Indian.” It is not clear if these claims of Native American and Asian ancestry have been verified/documented.

James had at least nine children. He was married to Velma Warren, Deidre “Deedee” Jenkins, Adrienne Lois Rodriguez (until her death), and to singer Tomi Rae Hynie.

James’s maternal grandfather was named Monnie/Mony/Monroe Behling (the son of Stephen Behling and Sarah). Monnie was born in South Carolina. Stephen was the son of Moses Behling and Charlotte Williams.

James’s maternal grandmother was Rebecca “Becca” Bryant (the daughter of Perry Bryant and Susan Carter). Rebecca was born in South Carolina.

Sources: Genealogy of James Brown – http://genealogy.about.com

Genealogies of James Brown (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://www.findagrave.com

James’s statements about his ancestry – http://www.worldcat.org


Curious about ethnicity

12 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Stephen Behling was the son of Moses Behling and Charlotte Williams

  2. cwm85 says:

    He claimed a lot of shit over the years. If he was so asian or indian why the black and proud song? Lol

  3. follers says:

    Even by the usual standards, James Brown’s tales of his ancestry are fantastical.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    He is part Apache it is confirmed by Wikipedia and rolling stone magazine

  5. Fuzzybear says:

    I couldn’t confirm this when I did the profile,but james could also be part Apache

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.