James Brown is returning to the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem where a public viewing will take place until 8 p.m. tonight. It’s the same theater where the “Godfather of Soul” made his debut in 1956.
Known for his impact on hip-hop and rap music, thousands of fans are expected to turn out and pay their respects to Brown, who died of heart failure at age 73 on Christmas Day in Atlanta.
Brown's close friend, Reverend Al Sharpton, told the Associated Press:
“He was a superstar for common people and I wanted to make sure that common people got to see him one last time,” Sharpton said late Wednesday, at the start of his journey from Georgia to New York.
“It’s going to be a royal day in Harlem,” he said, promising “the kind of homecoming we haven’t seen in a long time, if ever, in the Harlem community.”
Brown's body will be taken back to Georgia on Friday for a funeral service in his hometown of Augusta. Another public viewing is expected before his burial on Saturday.