A consummate showman whose private life was as explosive as his legendary performances, this iconic hit-maker forever changed the sound of music. Born into poverty in the '30s, as a youth Brown spent time in jail for stealing before finding his calling as an entertainer. In the '50s, he began honing his act with his friend and collaborator Bobby Byrd in the band The Flames, which soon became James Brown and the Famous Flames. By the '60s, the "Godfather of Soul" was injecting R&B with an infectious funky flare. His offbeat rhythms, catchy hooks, barking vocals and fancy footwork — including awe-inspiring twirls and splits — turned him into a stage star. His mainstream breakthrough came with the 1963 album Live at the Apollo, which captured his electrifying energy on vinyl and became the No. 2 album nationwide. Yet Brown's influence on music wasn't always reflected on the charts. Despite penning classics such as "I Got You (I Feel Good)," "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," "Get Up (I Feel Like A) Sex Machine" and the empowering civil rights anthem "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud," he never had a No. 1 hit. Yet many of his godchildren did, from the hip-hop artists who sampled his beats (including LL Cool J, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys) to the pop stars, like Michael Jackson, who emulated his moves. In the '70s, changing musical tastes, as well as Brown's increasingly tumultuous personal life, stalled his career. His eldest son was killed in a car crash; Brown had to sell off a number of his investments to reimburse the IRS for unpaid taxes; and in the '80s, he spent a couple of years in jail after a drug-addled run-in with the police. In his later life, Brown at times seemed like a parody of himself. Not only did he make exuberant if unintelligible public appearances (he was a favorite on Howard Stern's radio show), he also constantly popped up in the tabloids due to incidents of spousal and drug abuse. Even his death (which was shocking since he seemed to possess limitless energy) was tainted by scandal: After he passed away from congestive heart failure on Christmas Day 2006, his supposed fourth wife and mother of his youngest child, Tomi Rae Hynie, was locked out of their home when it was determined that they had never been legally married. Despite the scandals, whenever Brown leapt behind a microphone — which, being the self-declared "hardest-working man in show business," was quite often — the outrageous stories melted away, and he became an incomparable force of entertainment. His undeniable talent earned him countless devoted fans, not to mention myriad awards and accolades, including Kennedy Center Honors, two performing Grammys in addition to a lifetime achievement award, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.