James Brown’s family, friends believe singer was killed, according to new investigation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Remembering James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

In 2006, James Brown died on Christmas Day, reportedly due to a heart attack. However, some of the legendary singer’s family and friends believe someone killed him, according to a new report.

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In a three-part investigation by CNN, 13 people who knew the singer said they want an autopsy or a criminal investigation into his cause of death.

Although his death certificate said he died of heart failure due to complications from pneumonia at age 73, Brown’s manager, widow, son and several friends and associates question the details surrounding his death.

“He changed too fast,” said Marvin Crawford, who signed the entertainer’s death certificate at Emory Crawford Long Hospital (now Emory University Hospital Midtown) in Atlanta. “He was a patient I would never have predicted would have coded. ... But he died that night, and I did raise that question: What went wrong in that room?”

Crawford said he recommended an autopsy, but Brown's daughter, Yamma Brown, declined to have one performed. She did not offer an explanation about her decision when CNN asked.

The news outlet also asked another daughter, Deanna Brown Thomas, about allegations that her father’s crypt is empty, but she would not confirm or deny the claim.

Furthermore, a circus singer named Jacque Hollander, who worked with Brown in the 1980s, provided evidence about the performer and his associates, according to the CNN report. She began collecting information about him after she said he raped her. Brown was never prosecuted for the alleged crime.

“CNN examined Hollander's collection and also found independent corroboration for many of her claims,” the publication reported.

The investigation, which took place over two years, involved 140 interviews, a review of thousands of pages of police and court records, an analysis of more than 1,300 pages of text messages from Hollander's iPhone and a mysterious duffel bag. It also looks into the 1996 death of Adrienne Brown, James Brown's third wife.

Learn more about the report here.