A vigil was held on Chuck Brown Way in front of the legendary Howard Theatre Wednesday night to honor go-go legend Chuck Brown, who died at Johns Hopkins University Hospital earlier in the day after a battle with pneumonia. He was 75.
As unconfirmed rumors started in the afternoon that Brown had died, an attempt to check his official website jailed because it had been shut down, the first sign that it was more than just a rumor.
The “Godfather of Go-Go,” as Brown was known, canceled a scheduled performance at the Howard Theatre last month after he was hospitalized for treatment of fatigue and joint pain.
It was the first concert at the newly reopened theater to sell out.
Brown’s musical career began in the 1960s playing guitar with Jerry Butler and The Earls of Rhythm, joining Los Latinos in 1965. At the time of his death he was still performing music today and was well known in the Washington, DC area. Brown’s early hits include “I Need Some Money” and “Bustin’ Loose”. “Bustin’ Loose” has been adopted by the Washington Nationals baseball team as its home run celebration song, and was interpolated by Nelly for his 2002 number one hit “Hot in Herre.” Brown also recorded go-go covers of early jazz and blues songs, such as “Go-Go Swing” Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing If Ain’t Got That Swing”, “Moody’s Mood for Love”, Johnny Mercer’s “Midnight Sun”, Louis Jordan’s “Run Joe”, and T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday”.
Brown’s daughter, Cherita Whiting, told The Washington Post last month that Brown’s illness was not “life-threatening” and that “he’s just getting some much-needed rest.”
She was hugged and comforted by friends, fellow musicians and strangers alike, including fellow go-go singer Greg “Sugar Bear” Elliott.
The Howard concert had been rescheduled for June 29 and the theater said then that it would honor all tickets and that refunds were available wherever tickets were purchased.
Brown posted on his Facebook page that doctors had been urging him since March to get some rest. He canceled an appearance during the CIAA tournament in April, then the Howard concert.
“I’m still in recovery mode, but doing better and looking forward to partying with ya’ll again soon! I’m grateful for all the well wishes and kind notes — there’s no love like DC love!” Brown posted.
His death was a shock to Washingtonians and self-professed “go-go heads” who were absolutely convinced Brown would recover.
“This is something. It’s gonna shut a lot of us down,” said D.J.Rico, a native Washingtonian and longtime D.C. deejay and close friend of Brown’s.
“This is more than tough,” said Rico, of WMMJ 102.3-FM, the D.C. home of the Tom Joyner Moring Show, said on air after his afternoon “Traffic Jam” show.
“I could call Chuck when I wanted to call Chuck, see Chuck when I want to see Chuck. That’s my pops. He’d call and say, ‘Hey, son, I’m in the car and I’m listening to you,’ or ‘I’m home with the grandkids. They’re driving me crazy, but I can hear you.‘ “He’d call just to say ‘what’s up?’ There’d be nothing going on and he’d just call. Chuck is irreplaceable.”
Singer Raheem DeVaughn, who was featured on Brown’s next to last album and performed with Brown at D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s inaugural party, told the station he considered Brown “one of the best live performers ever” and that he admired Brown’s innovation and his commitment to his family.
Throughout the afternoon
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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