James Brown 's family recalls pop star 's humility

Michael Jackson spoke at the memorial service for James Brown at the James Brown Arena in late 2006.
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When Michael Jackson walked onto the stage at James Brown Arena on Dec. 30, 2006, to say a few words about the man from whom he emulated many of his dance moves, the thousands there beseeched him to do a few of his own.

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Michael Jackson addresses the crowd flanked by the Rev. Jesse Jackson (center) and the Rev. Al Sharpton at funeral services for James Brown at the James Brown Arena on Dec. 30, 2006.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Jackson addresses the crowd flanked by the Rev. Jesse Jackson (center) and the Rev. Al Sharpton at funeral services for James Brown at the James Brown Arena on Dec. 30, 2006.

He didn't. Deanna Brown Thomas knows why and is grateful for the pop singer's restraint at her father's funeral.

"He didn't come for show," Mrs. Thomas said on Thursday after learning of the pop singer's death. "Everybody wanted him to get on the stage and dance, and he didn't do that. He came to give respect and that's what he did. Michael came as Michael, a friend and a huge fan of Dad."

She said she gained even more respect for Mr. Jackson for the way he came to Augusta, not being accompanied by the usual entourage that clings to celebrities of Mr. Jackson's stature. That let her know, she said, that the singer truly came to honor her father.

Mrs. Thomas said Mr. Jackson loved her father, and the feeling was mutual. She said one of his fondest memories was of the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" presenting the "Godfather of Soul" a lifetime achievement award from BET in 2003.

"I know that day Dad was so happy and elated," Mrs. Thomas said. "It touched dad's heart."

Mr. Jackson came to Augusta the day before the funeral, she said. After he arrived and met with the family, he requested a private viewing of his idol, which was granted. Mrs. Thomas said he spent at least a couple of hours with her father at C.A. Reid Sr. Memorial Funeral Home.

The humbleness Mr. Jackson showed was something that took others by surprise.

"He just seemed like such a humble, quiet person," said Robert "Flash" Gordon, the general manager of the arena at the time. "He had such a sweet-like personality. I thought he would have been more standoffish."

Mr. Gordon, who owns two music stores, said he expects there to be a run today on Jackson paraphernalia, similar to what happened after Mr. Brown's death.

He said he sold out of Jackson CDs soon after the news of the singer's passing.

"There's going to be a whole lot of interest," Mr. Gordon said. "I won't have enough (today). It's going to be like when Mr. Brown died."

Mrs. Thomas, who said she contacted the Jackson family to pay her respect, knows a lot of the interest in Mr. Jackson will be directed toward his behavior.

She said her father never was put off by what was reported about Mr. Jackson, an empathy gained from him too being in the public spotlight for decades.

"My dad understood the business," Mrs. Thomas said. "He understood how things can get carried away in the media. By the time the story get printed or the story get told, it might be 10 different ways. Dad understood very well how things worked."

She said there will never be another Michael Jackson or James Brown.

The music they made will never be duplicated, Mrs. Thomas said, though it might be carried on somewhere other than this earth.

"Can you imagine what that heavenly choir is going to be like now?" she asked. "Hmm, Hmm, Hmm."

Reach Mike Wynn at (706) 823-3218 or mike.wynn@augustachronicle.com.

ONLINE EXTRA

See an online gallery of exclusive photos from Michael Jackson's appearance at the James Brown memorial service.

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Jim-bob
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Jim-bob 06/26/09 - 07:47 am
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Musical geniuses. May Mr.

Musical geniuses. May Mr. Jackson and Mr. Brown rest in peace.

toppergem
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toppergem 06/26/09 - 07:52 am
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I was at the funeral that day

I was at the funeral that day and Michael's appearance was awesome. One super, amazing talent saying goodbye to his mentor. I saw his pain that day...it is the same pain I esperenced yesterday when I got the unexpected news of his passing. Moments in my life were punctuated by the songs from Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five...an outstanding talent, a unique and complex individual. He will be greatly missed by me and the world. My prayers go out to his family at this very, very difficult time.

way2go
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way2go 06/26/09 - 08:15 am
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This is truly the day the

This is truly the day the music died..the man, the music, the legend. The "Thrill"er is gone...

shamorris
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shamorris 06/26/09 - 09:08 am
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This is truly a day that the

This is truly a day that the world will never ever forget. Michael has touched so many lives through his music, chrisma in his style of dance and most of all the love he had for entertaining. I had the opportunity to see him in person during Mr. Browns' funeral and will forever cherish the moment. Mike may you rest in peace. I know you and JB are going to have a great reunion in heaven.

whyaskwhy
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whyaskwhy 06/26/09 - 09:56 am
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Your pain is gone, BUT Your

Your pain is gone, BUT Your thrills will live on forever.
Thank you James and Michael for wonderful memories. We will always LOVE you !

Son of God
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Son of God 06/26/09 - 11:33 am
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Jesus is coming soon. The

Jesus is coming soon. The church has pronounced this prophecy from the heavenly thrones several months before it happened and just as early as last week, the prophecy came through at Trumret N' Zion ministries. Those who are spiritually inclined had ears to hear and are not questioning the move of God. God has Michael Jackson and James Brown and hopes that we can take heed and turn from our wicked ways so that we won't be caught up in our sins and go to hell. God has given us space to repent. Read Romans 10:9, 10, Psalm 51, and meditate on Deuteronomy 32:39. Will you be ready? If not, you know what the ends thereof are, death and destruction. Michael had love and integrity in his heart for his family and God's people. God grace and mercy is sufficient for all of us. I pray that God strengthen Michael's family , Janes Brown's family, and cause his people to turn from their wicked ways and give their lives back to Christ. Michael now has ETERNAL AND EVERLASTING LIFE. It is not found on the Neverland ranch or anywhere on this earth.Nichael and James have taken off the corruptible and put on the incorruptible crown of eternal life. LET US ALL PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD AMEN..............

mgroothand
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mgroothand 06/26/09 - 06:42 pm
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I have never spent so much as

I have never spent so much as 25 cents in a juke box to listen to the music of either JB or MJ, it's just not my kind of music. Little has been written about their trials and tribulations, although they've both been in court rooms a number of times. MJ was never convicted of he horrendous crimes he had been accused of, I guess $20M buys a lot of hush-up. To me being a fantastic performer of whatever genre of music and simultaneously keeping your nose out of legal trouble is what makes a man and an entertainer.

mable8
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mable8 06/27/09 - 06:44 am
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mgroothand: Michael Jackson

mgroothand: Michael Jackson was acquitted of the "crime" you speak of; it was proven that the woman coached her son into the lies told in court. How dare you continue to besmirch the name of Michael Jackson. Guess you think because you have never been caught (or reported) for any wrong-doing, you are above everyone else.

mable8
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mable8 06/27/09 - 06:48 am
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sonofgod: The death of

sonofgod: The death of Michael Jackson doesn't mean that the end is near. Unless you can show me where the prophecy is, I will consider that the death of Michael Jackson was much too early in his life. He was a generous man and extremely talented; the world will miss him.

Son of God
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Son of God 06/27/09 - 11:13 am
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Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your response mable 8.Please read all of Revalation. There is plenty prophecy about the coming of the Lord. Ponder and MEDITATE on Acts 1:9-11. Meditate on verse 11. THAT SAME JESUS which is taken up to you into Heaven SHALLSO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN. Revelation chapter 22 tells about the coming of Jesus. Jesus comes as a thief in the night. We must be ready.Jesus is the ONLY KING AND GODFATHER. He will not give his name or glory to another. My advice for all of those fans of Michael Jackson in London who pre-paid for 84 million dollars worth of tickets and fans anywhere else is to seek the Lord while he may be found. I am quite sure if Michael Jackson and James Brown could speak, they would tell you the same words. The world can miss Michael all they want to. God said in his word. "LOVE NOT THE WORLD NOR THE THINGS OF THE WORLD. iF YOU LOVE THE WORLD AND THE THINGS OF THE WORLD, THEN THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN YOU. I always knew Michael by his spirit. They that worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth. The spirit gives life. The flesh profiteth nothing. To be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD!

Son of God
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Son of God 06/27/09 - 11:19 am
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I forgot one more scripture.

I forgot one more scripture. Please read and meditate on Deuteronomy 32:39. That lets us know who God really is and what God really does. He is all powerful and has all control. The devil can't do anything without PERMISSION FROM GOD.

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 06/27/09 - 02:24 pm
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I got a question for you, Son

I got a question for you, Son Of God. Wasn't Michael a Muslim? Didn't Jesus say in the New Testament, "No one goes to the Father but through Me?" I'm not trying to make any point, I'm just asking...

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 06/28/09 - 12:44 am
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Rest in Peace Michael.

Rest in Peace Michael.

Son of God
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Son of God 06/28/09 - 02:39 am
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Super Question. Thank You.

Super Question. Thank You. God grace and mercy is sufficient for ALL of us. We are not to judge anyone or their religion. a close friend of mine mother just passed away and he continued to tell me that he kept praying the rosary in her ears over and over again because she prayed it so much. What do God word say about that? Do they go through Jesus with the rosary? i really don't know. Are they hailing Mary? God ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. High as the heavens are from the earth so are our ways from God ways and our thoughts from God thoughts. God said let each man work out his own soul salvation with fear and trembling. God has mercy on who he wants to have mercy on. The concert set for London called, "This is it" is a good example that God will not give his glory to another. Those 84 million dollars should have been used to bring more people to Christ.THE ONLY GOD FATHER IS JESUS CHRIST AND THE ONLY KING IS JESUS CHRIST. God plainly said, "Love not the world nor the things of the world. If you love the world, then the love of the father is not in you." I believe that in spite of Michael Jackson shortcomings, he had a pure heart. Only the pure in

Son of God
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Son of God 06/28/09 - 03:00 am
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heart shall see God. God saw

heart shall see God. God saw something down the road in Michael's life that would have caused his soul to be in trouble so he rescued him from all the cares of the world and gave him ETERNAL LIFE IN SPITE OF HIS BELIEF. Michael had a big burden on him just as James Brown did. They were surrounded by vulchers who were sucking them dry daily. Their lives reminded me of when they persecuted Jesus Christ. The more they helped people, the more they got cheated, used, and lied on. That 911 call was so smooth. No one was really panicking. Why didn't the doctor call? There is not that much CPR in the world. It was a done, plotted, and planned deal before they picked up the phone to call 911. It reminds me of when Judas kissed Jesus. Oh what tangled webs we weave when we first set out to decieve. The thief comes to steal, kill,and destroy but Jesus come that we might have life and have it MORE ABUNDANTLY. I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and that he was raised on the third day. Muslims believe that Jesus is not the son of God. He was just a prophet. Just because some did not believe, does that make the word of God non effect, Let God be true and every man a liar!LUVYA

mgroothand
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mgroothand 06/28/09 - 02:56 pm
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mable8: I know that MJ was

mable8: I know that MJ was acquitted of the crimes he was accused of, so was OJ. It is well known that good, expensive lawyers can get anybody off for any crime. I did not "besmirch" MJ's name, he did that to himself with his well publicised weird antics and his admitted sleeping with many boys. As for Son of God, you are a prime example for the reason I have not been inside a church for well over 40 years. There are too many others that hang out there just like you.

Son of God
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Son of God 06/28/09 - 10:58 pm
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Thank you for your uplifting

Thank you for your uplifting words, mgroothand. Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.The church is on the inside of you. You should never go inside of a building looking for God. The kingdom of God is on the inside of you and me, however; if we don't know that then we will die unlearned. To be honest with you, I don't attend church as regular as I would like to either. I am a sinner saved by grace. I try not to practice sin but this flesh wars with my spirit man daily. I know and believe the word of God. That does not mean that I don't fall. When i woild to do good, evil is always present. I also choose evil at times and so do you and everyone else. ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. If you truly loved God, then your spirit would bear witness with his spoken word. I accept your constructive criticism of me, Michael, mabel 8, and anyone else. Nothing that you can do or say to make me think lees of what God says about me. You don't have to go to church for forty more years. That's your choice. God still loves you and so do I. Believe me, one day you will go to church because we have an appointment of death just like Michael Jackson unless you pr

Son of God
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Son of God 06/28/09 - 11:01 pm
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prefer a graveside service.

prefer a graveside service. Now how would you like for someone to speak about you when you leave here? Whatsoever a man soweth, (in words or deeds) that shall he also reap. Continue in the work of the Lord and I love you dearly, that is the greatest commandment. SHALOM!!!!!!

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