Known as the “Godfather of Go-Go,” the performer, singer, guitarist and songwriter developed his commanding brand of funk in the mid-1970s to compete with the dominance of disco.
Like a DJ blending records, Mr. Brown used nonstop percussion to stitch songs together and keep the crowd on the dance floor, resulting in marathon performances that went deep into the night. Mr. Brown said the style got its name because “the music just goes and goes.”
In addition to being go-go’s principal architect, Mr. Brown remained the genre’s most charismatic figure. On stage, his spirited call-and-response routines became a hallmark of the music, reinforcing a sense of community that allowed the scene to thrive. As go-go became a point of pride for black Washingtonians, Mr. Brown became one of the city’s most recognizable figures.
- Chris Richards, The Washington Post
She became the face and voice of one of the most powerful music and cultural movements in America. As a disco icon, she projected an empowering African American femininity that would influence artists from Grace Jones to Beyonce and Rihanna, and help make her a figurehead of gay club life. As an artist, her music was incalculably influential.
Her singles with Moroder like “I Feel Love” are considered early electronic dance music, now a defining sound of today’s top-grossing pop. And she survived the disco backlash of the late 1970s and early ’80s to remain one of pop’s most pioneering artists, whose legacy can still be heard in Lady Gaga, the Electric Daisy Carnival and countless nightclubs around the world.
- August Brown and Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times