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He sweats like James Brown. He sounds like James Brown. He pomades his hair like James Brown. And, given that there no longer is a James Brown, he is, de facto, James Brown.

The Godfather of Soul’s doppelganger, Black Velvet, charmed Fort Greene’s silver-haired set with a sex-charged, early bird luncheon and performance at the Masonic Temple in Fort Greene on June 6.

Black Velvet (who also goes by Charles Bradley and, when he’s in the mood, James Brown Jr.) shook the Lafayette Avenue temple with Brown’s funky vibe at the invitation of Councilwoman Letitia James and state Sen. Eric Adams, both noted funk fans.

The audience was drawn from neighborhood senior centers. Black Velvet is best known for performing “Please, Please, Please” in full Brown regalia while waiting to pay his respects to his idol at Brown’s December funeral at the Apollo Theater.

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jacqueline amos from Brooklyn NY says:
I interview Charles Bradley on Sunday July 13, 2008. His performance shook the house at the essence lounge, he told me he lost contact with James Brown family, the honor and respect he had for the legend, he stated he started singing at the age of 14, his sister encouraged him to sing at the apollo, as he spoke of the love and respect he had for one man, it then went into the struggles that involved his life, and his mentor James Brown influence him and he then began to see the light, his spiritual flow seem to spread light a boom of light, In my synopsis of Charles Bradley it was as James Brown himself had came through his body, the soul of rebirth. I find black velvet was not charles bradley but James Brown, it is tramatizing when he begins to sing, as he sings the song Please Please" wrapped in a flashing rob, and the tears and sweat that streams down his eyes and face, the tears of a true soul singer.
July 14, 2008, 9:34 pm

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