May 3, 1933 - December 25, 2006 (aged 73)
The creator of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul". In a career that spanned six decades, he influenced the development of several music genres. He is ranked seventh on Rolling Stone's list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Rolling Stone has also cited Brown as the most sampled artist of all time.