To commemorate what would have been the Godfather of Soul’s 90th birthday, A&E is bringing a four-part docuseries to the small screen with the help of a pair of legendary musicians whose careers may not exist without James Brown’s influence.
Mick Jagger and Questlove have signed on as executive producers for James Brown: Say It Loud which will look back at the musician’s legacy through interviews with family, friends, and fellow musicians and will also include never-before-seen footage from the archives.
Questlove directed last year’s Academy Award-nominated Summer Of Soul documentary that looked back at 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival.
Jagger, who was at first a fan, struck up a friendship with Brown after a performance at the Harlem theater. The Rolling Stones frontman also produced Get On Up, the James Brown biopic featuring Chadwick Boseman as well as Alex Gibney’s 2014 documentary Mr. Dynamite: James Brown And The Power Of Soul.
The forthcoming documentary is set to explore “a 7th-grade drop-out arrested for armed robbery in the Jim Crow era South to an entertainment legend whose words, songs, style, and moves inspired musical revolutions and molded a nation’s view of Black pride and Black masculinity.”
“He was a brilliant performer who inspired me from the beginning and was deeply committed to the Civil Rights movement,” Jagger told Deadline. “I have always admired James and learned so much from him. I look forward to bringing the series to life.”
“The life of James Brown is significant not only to understand his immense musical impact, which inspires us and other artists to this day but also for the deep and lasting impression he has had on American culture,” adds Questlove.
In the director’s chair is Deborah Riley Draper, an experienced documentarian whose credits include Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, and most recently The Legacy Of Black Wall Street.
The four-part docuseries is set to air in 2023.