Born in Atlanta, Georgia, James Brown rocked the world for several decades, serving the world as one of the first and most prominent faces of soul, R&B and funk; inspiring innumerable artists from Michael Jackson to David Bowie. The influential performer ultimately died at the age of 73 in 2006, with his cause of death being listed on his birth certificate as a heart attack and fluid in his lungs.
A year ago, CNN piece raised questions regarding the death of the industry titan, and now a prosecutor from his hometown will now be looking into his death, after a woman came forward alleging that the icon had been murdered. The prosecutor, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr., told media outlets that he will conduct interviews and weigh potential evidence, before making a decision to launch a full death investigation.
While the performer notoriously maintained a strict anti-drug and alcohol policy around his own private social entourage and bandmates, there have been several instances and allegations suggesting that Brown had taken drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and PCP during the latter part of his career. Several instances furthered these allegations beginning in the mid 1980s until his death, as traces of cocaine were found in his urine around late 2006, and he had been previously charged with cannabis possession during the 1980s.
The doctor who signed his death certificate, Marvin Crawford, had questions regarding his death, and wondered if it had been caused by a toxic substance. “He changed too fast,” Crawford said. “He was a patient I would never have predicted would have coded. … But he died that night, and I did raise that question: What went wrong in that room?”