WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Chuck Brown, the legendary “Godfather of Go-Go” has passed away.

Brown died of multiple organ failure Wednesday afternoon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, the singer’s management confirmed to WPGC Radio.

The 75-year-old had postponed all of his tour days and was hospitalized with pneumonia in recent weeks.

Brown was originally admitted to the hospital on April 18 for complaints about his arthritis. However, doctors discovered blood clots in his legs. The pneumonia reportedly developed as he was recovering from treatment for the clots. He was being treated in the ICU at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

Brown was a pioneer in the D.C. music scene and brought go-go into the national spotlight with his 1970’s hits “I Need Some Money” and “Bustin’ Loose.”


Brown was notoriously loyal to his blonde Gibson ES-335 guitar, which he called “Blondie.” The go-go icon began using the guitar exclusively early in his career.

His family issued the following statement on his official Facebook page Wednesday afternoon:

“The Brown family would like to thank everyone for their love and support over the years. We know that Chuck’s legacy will live on through all of you who have supported him and his creation of Go-Go. His passion, inspiration and drive have always come from his family and fans. He would have wanted all of his fans to know that they meant the world to him and none of his success was possible without them. God bless.”

Brown’s musical influence extended far beyond the boundaries of the nation’s capital. His songs were sampled by some of music’s biggest names including Nelly who sampled the 1979 No. 1 R&B hit “Bustin’ Loose” for his 2002 chart-topping hit “Hot in Herre.”

Brown received an outpouring of support from his famous musical brethren on Twitter.

“I’m sick that we lost Chuck Brown,” said Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, who also helped produce Nelly’s hit. “So honored that I got a chance to meet him. RIP to the Godfather of Go-Go.”

Rapper Common also offered his condolences online.

“May God bless the soul of The God Father of GoGo Chuck Brown!” he tweeted. “I know the DMV will be celebrating his art and contribution to music this weekend!”

In 2010, Brown’s single “Love,” which featured Jill Scott and Marcus Miller, earned the singer his first Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.

Washington Nationals fans voted “Bustin’ Loose” as the team’s official home run song. The song is played each time a Nationals player hits a round-tripper.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray extended his condolences to Brown’s family on Twitter.

“RIP to the Godfather of Go-go, a great man, & my friend Chuck Brown,” the mayor posted. “Our thoughts & prayers are w/ his family. What a loss.”

In quotes obtained by the Associate Press, the mayor added: “Go-go is D.C.’s very own unique contribution to the world of pop music. Today is a very sad day for music lovers the world over.”

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