Chuck Brown, the man credited with taking funk one step further to create go-go — the beat-heavy music that influenced hip-hop artists from Run DMC to Nelly — is dead at 75. He passed away at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., from complications from sepsis.
Brown had been hospitalized for pneumonia in early May, but had trouble recovering and succumbed on Wednesday (May 16), his manager tells The Washington Post.
Along with his band, the Soul Searchers, Brown spent four weeks atop the R&B singles chart in 1978 with his signature song “Bustin’ Loose.” That was go-go’s big moment in the national spotlight. It faded quickly after, but lived on in the Washington, D.C. area where Brown continued to perform and young kids would set up makeshift drum sets on street corners to play the infectious go-go beat.
“I’m not retired because I’m not tired,” he told the Post in 2006. “I’m still getting hired, and I’m still inspired. As long as I can walk up on that stage, I want to make people happy. I want to make people dance.”