The Godfather of Soul will be performing during halftime at this month's Super Bowl. But his sights are still set a little higher.
The estimated 1 billion Super Bowl viewers will be his largest audience ever, but joining Pope John Paul II on a show with a positive message for a million children would surpass a Super Bowl gig as the career highlight, James Brown said Monday.
"The Super Bowl will be a portion of the highlights," Mr. Brown said in an interview at his downtown Augusta radio station. "You don't get a show bigger than the Super Bowl ever. The good thing about it is, they all know James Brown."
Exactly what songs he'll sing and the design of show are a secret. Mr. Brown did say he will have his dancers, as well as rockers ZZ Top and the Blues Brothers (plus John Goodman) scheduled to perform.
"It'll be designed for the Super Bowl," he said, not answering any specific questions about the Jan. 26 performance in New Orleans. "The Super Bowl - you do that because it says `Hello' to the world from America. It lets the world know we have a lot of good things going on in America."
Monday also marked the first anniversary of the death of his wife, Adrienne, who died in Beverly Hills, Calif., while recovering from cosmetic surgery. Mr. Brown remembered by placing flowers at her grave site.
They had problems, he admitted, but he gave her credit for settling in Augusta with him.
"All the things I accomplished in the past 15 years, she had something to do with it," he said.
Later this week, the singer will accept a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But the highlight of the year will be when a movie about his life goes into production, he said.
Three production companies - Universal Studios, Walt Disney Studios and Brian Grazer (a producer for the recent Touchstone Pictures film Ransom) - are interested in the movie, said Larry Fridie, Mr. Brown's personal assistant.
One of the actors Mr. Brown said he wouldn't mind seeing playing him as a young man is Eddie Murphy, who impersonated him on Saturday Night Live. But Mr. Brown said he wants to play himself at the end of the film.
"I'm not James Brown. James Brown is a condition over the years," he said. "James Brown is a religious atmosphere that has been to create good will. James Brown is showing that everybody can do it."