60 James Brown Quotes from the Godfather of Soul

James Brown an iconic American singer, songwriter and dancer was born in 1933 in South Carolina and passed away in 2006 in Georgia.

Known as “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business” Brown grew up in Augusta Georgia facing poverty during the Great Depression.

He learned music in churches and local communities and initially considered careers in baseball or boxing.

James Brown Quotes

His music career began after a stint in reform school leading to the formation of the Famous Flames.

Brown’s first hit “Please Please Please” was followed by numerous chart-toppers influencing soul funk and hip-hop music.

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He was known for his electrifying performances unique vocal style and social activism particularly in songs like “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud.”

Below are some of the breathtaking quotes by James Brown.

Best James Brown Quotes


When you touch me, good God. ~ James Brown.


The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing. ~ James Brown.


Takes a man or a woman to say I’m sorry, and it takes a fool to walk away. ~ James Brown.

You’re like a dull knife, it just ain’t cutting. ~ James Brown.

I’ve got soul and I’m super bad. ~ James Brown.

I’d like to cut down on the work a little bit. ~ James Brown.


This is a revolution of the mind, get your mind together and get away from drugs. ~ James Brown.

I’ve outdone anyone you can name – Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss. Irving Berlin, he wrote 1,001 tunes. I wrote 5,500. ~ James Brown.

My son don’t have to say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud. He don’t have to be called those crazy names. ~ James Brown.

Music, it requires more than brawn. It requires a lot of heart. You gotta put love in there. ~ James Brown.

Thank God that I had the ability to understand that I had a different beat and that I was a drummer. ~ James Brown.


My expectations of other people, I double them on myself. ~ James Brown.

When I’m on stage, I’m trying to do one thing: bring people joy. Just like church does. People don’t go to church to find trouble, they go there to lose it. ~ James Brown.

Top James Brown Quotes


I named my new son James Joseph Brown II. I think he’s going to be a lot better than I was. ~ James Brown.

The white horse of heroin will ride you to hell. ~ James Brown.


You got to live for yourself, yourself and nobody else. ~ James Brown.

Sometimes you struggle so hard to feed your family one way, you forget to feed them the other way, with spiritual nourishment. Everybody needs that. ~ James Brown.

Music has to breathe and sweat. You have to play it live. ~ James Brown.

When God took it, he accepted it; when he brought it back, he accepted it. That’s what’s happening with me. ~ James Brown.


Our silence is deafening and deadly. ~ James Brown.

I had to tell about my colonic, which expresses the fact why I’m so neat today as opposed to a few years ago. I never knew that the weight made that much difference. ~ James Brown.

Take those kids and raise them up, teach them how to drink out of a righteous cup. ~ James Brown.


I just thank God for all of the blessings. ~ James Brown.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a preacher as well, ’cause I can really get into an audience. ~ James Brown.

Retire for what? What would I do? I made my name as a person that is helping. I’m like Moses in the music business. ~ James Brown.


Money won’t change you, but time will take you out. ~ James Brown.

We can never be like it was at Penn State with Joe Paterno. That was an anomaly in an of itself. ~ James Brown.

Famous James Brown Quotes

I’m not going to be joining ZZ Top. You know they can’t play my stuff. It’s too complicated. ~ James Brown.


I’ve been knocked down a lot of times. ~ James Brown.

Sometimes, you like to let the hair do the talking! ~ James Brown.

You only live once. ~ James Brown.

Thank God for the journey. ~ James Brown.


You got to use what you got to get just what you want. ~ James Brown.

It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World. ~ James Brown.

I used to play one job and have 125 pair of shoes on the floor. What was I doing? I couldn’t wear but one pair. ~ James Brown.

Everybody over there, get on up. Everybody out there, get into it. Everybody right there, get involved. ~ James Brown.


For goodness sake, look at those cakes. ~ James Brown.

The hardest thing about being James Brown is I have to live. I don’t have no down time. ~ James Brown.

Got ants in my pants and I need to dance, so big fine mama, come give me a chance. ~ James Brown.


You can take care of yourself, and God helps those who help themselves. ~ James Brown.

I’ve been held responsible for taxes I know nothing about. ~ James Brown.

I want to say to you: Help yourself, so you can help someone else. ~ James Brown.

I think the best thing about being James Brown is looking at my little son. Hopefully I can make my son a role model to a lot of people. ~ James Brown.

If you don’t get it the first time, back up and try it again. ~ James Brown.


I don’t know karate, but I know ka-razy! ~ James Brown.

When I’m on stage, I’m trying to do one thing: bring people joy. ~ James Brown.

Inspirational James Brown Quotes

I only got a seventh-grade education, but I have a doctorate in funk, and I like to put that to good use. ~ James Brown.

It doesn’t matter how you travel it, it’s the same road. It doesn’t get any easier when you get bigger, it gets harder. And it will kill you if you let it. ~ James Brown.

Papa didn’t cuss, he didn’t raise a whole lot of fuss. But when we did wrong, Papa beat the hell out of us. ~ James Brown.


Tell the politicians and the hustlers: live and let live. ~ James Brown.

I’m twice as old, but I feel good. ~ James Brown.

What everybody’s looking for today, they’re looking for escape-ism. ~ James Brown.

You can’t teach others if you are living the same way. ~ James Brown.

Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things he’s got it all. ~ James Brown.


Don’t let nobody take care of your business better than you. ~ James Brown.

I started Michael years ago. I saw him in Gary, Indiana, and we’d have him on the talent shows. He kind of emulated me, and did the best he could. ~ James Brown.

Inspiring James Brown Quotes

I used to think like Moses. That knocked me down for a couple years and put me in prison. Then I start thinking like Job. Job waited and became the wealthiest and richest man ever ’cause he believed in God. ~ James Brown.


I taught them everything they know, but not everything I know. ~ James Brown.

Some like them fat, some like them tall, some like them short, skinny legs and all. I like them all. ~ James Brown.

I’d rather be Jack be smart, than Jack be quick. Watch out for the man with the big fat licking stick. ~ James Brown.

As I always said, if people wanted to know who James Brown is, all they have to do is listen to my music. ~ James Brown.

So these were the 60 top James Brown quotes on music, life and to charge you up.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Sebastian Stan quotes and Marilyn Manson quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar