The driver, who also ferried Prince, Michael Jackson and Don King in their hey-days, discusses the last resting place and funeral of the Godfather of soul
James Brown died in 2006 on Christmas Day of congestive heart failure following a lethal bout of pneumonia.
Despite a lifetime of drug abuse and hard partying, the godfather of soul was 73 when he finally passed on.
And his body, according to his former chauffeur William Murrrell, is very much still with us.
“He’s been dead since 2006 but he still hasn’t been [properly] buried – he’s at his daughter’s house,” Murrell – who has also driven Prince, Michael Jackson, Don King and the Reverend Al Sharpton in the past – alleged to the Guardian.
“They muminized [sic] his body so he would never rot, at $140,000 cost. Why? When you got almost 20 kids and six wives it’s hard to get you in the ground.”
Brown actually married three times and, officially, only fathered nine children. So Murrell’s assertion is something of a magnification. Whether that makes his oral sourcing of Brown’s post-mortem history a little less reliable than it otherwise would be remains to be clarified.
So make of it what you will of his story about ferrying Michael Jackson – flanked by three cars full of Nation of Islam security – to Brown’s funeral.
He described Jackson, who died in 2009, as a “pretty cool guy” but added that his altered appearance had been a little disturbing.
“To see him in real life was real scary – his skin colour was white and his hands were white,” he said.
Murrell goes on to remember Jackson lingering in Brown’s “funeral room” with his body for an hour because he “wanted to spend some time” with his mentor.
“He put a little curl in his hair, like Jackson’s own,” he added.