James Brown singing
Media playback is unsupported on your device

James Brown: Troubled genius of the Godfather of Soul

James Brown was a tireless performer and talented musician, but according to a new biography the 'Godfather of Soul' was also deeply troubled.

RJ Smith's The One: The Life and Music of James Brown sheds light on Brown's musical genius by examining his complicated life.

Through interviews with dozens of Brown's former associates, fellow musicians and family members, Smith draws a profile of a man who shone on stage but struggled in private.

He chronicles the musician's road to success, beginning with his childhood in rural Georgia where he grew up in his aunt's brothel and performed as a street musician.

Produced for the BBC by Leigh Paterson.

Photos courtesy of RJ Smith and Patti Collins. Video courtesy of BBC Four Sessions and British Pathe.

Go to next video: A Black Panther's journey of rebellion and reinvention