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When famed Motown singer Tammi Terrell was 17 years old, she reportedly dated music icon James Brown who was age 30 at the time.

Before she found success as a singer best known for her duet with Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing,” Terrell was Brown’s backup vocalist.

According to Tammi’s sister, Ludie Montgomery, their Mother once found JBrown sleeping in Tammi’s bed in an NYC hotel suite.

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According to Tammi Terrell’s sister (Ludie), James Brown enticed the impressionable 17-year-old Tammi with lavish gifts and luxuries when she toured with the James Brown Review. James also bought her many presents which included furs, jewelry and gorgeous ensembles; the next outfit was more beautiful than the last.

“Tammi took us shopping and bought us expensive gifts at Saks Fifth Avenue. When we returned, we entered Tammi’s room, we saw that James Brown was sleeping in Tammi’s bed. He woke up abruptly, greeted us politely and left. Mother seemed awfully worried and confused but Brown’s assistant-Gertie assured her that she kept a watchful eye out for Tammi on the road.” -via PanacheReport

Singer Gene Chandler previously revealed that Brown was abusive to Terrell.

 

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“I witnessed the situation and she came to me for help, then I called her parents,” said Chandler.

According to PR, here’s what Ludie wrote in her biography:

“Our mother received a distressing telephone call. Mother was horrified to learn that a 17-year-old Tammi had encountered some trouble on the road and was coming home. James Brown had beaten her mercilessly and Tammi wanted out. My father was especially hurt because he knew James and he trusted him with Tammi since she was only 17 and he was 30.

When Tammi returned home she looked disheveled, tired and just worn out. I learned that night that she had been trying to get away for some time but was worried about breach of contract repercussions.

While mother and I were unpacking Tammi’s things in the basement my mother discovered a blue, silk oriental dress. It was called a Kimono and James had bought it for Tammi. This dress had particular significance! There was blood all over it. We learned that Tammi’s abuse was extensive and that this tragic incident involved an umbrella with horrific results.”

After Terrell and Brown called it quits she reportedly dated another alleged abuser of women, Temptations lead singer, David Ruffin.

Terrell died at age 24 from brain cancer.

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