"James Brown is my greatest inspiration. Ever since I was a small child, no more than like 6 years old, my mother would wake me no matter what time it was ... to watch the television to see the master work. And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. ... And right then and there, I knew that that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, because of James Brown."
"James Brown, I shall miss you, and I love you so much, and thank you for everything."
- Michael Jackson
"Now we mentioned St. Peter opening the gate ... I can hear Mr. Brown, I see him in my mind's eye say, 'Peter, love you like a brother, but see, I don't deal with no middleman, you got to take me to the main man.' He was that way. He didn't deal with middlemen. He had to have THE man."
- Charles Bobbit, longtime friend and manager
"Don't let the program you have fool you. It says May 3, 1933 - Dec. 25, 2006. But between '33 and 2006 there's a lot of misery and hell we caught as black folks and women in America ... The numbers themselves don't tell the story. There's a brother laying there that got caught up in that mix and didn't run from it (but) ran into it. And because of the civil rights movement and all the people that was willing to die, and give up their life, that we can sit in this building today, but in '33 you best not be caught nowhere around this area."
- Dick Gregory, comedian, civil rights activist
"God had a Christmas birthday concert for Jesus on Christmas Day. And y'all know James Brown had the headline, right? I bet that party was something else."
- Deanna Brown, daughter
"You don't understand James Brown until you've been down to 'Georgia-lina' like he said. You have to be here and understand how he was born not at zero but below zero. Because you judge not the distance of a man by where he is but where he begins. And nobody started lower and went higher than James Brown did."
- The Rev. Al Sharpton