Chuck Brown, who fused funk, soul and Latin sounds into an entirely new party music called go-go in Washington, D.C., in the 1970s, has died at 75 after suffering pneumonia.
Brown, a guitarist, singer and songwriter affectionately dubbed the “godfather of go-go,” died Wednesday from complications of sepsis at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, the Washington Post reports. He had been hospitalized since April 18.
Go-go music was a point of pride for black Washingtonians, and Brown – an ex-con who became one of the city”s most beloved figures – remained its most charismatic performer. He performed less often but still regularly in his final years.
“It”s about love, the communication between performer and audience,” he once said of go-go music. “When you”re on stage, the people put that love to you and you give it back. There”s no other music like it.”
Brown was nominated for his first and only Grammy Award in 2011, for best rhythm-and-blues performance by a duo or group with vocals for “Love,” a collaboration with singer Jill Scott and bassist Marcus Miller.