News broke this week that the long-awaited James Brown biopic is finally coming out. "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" was directly involved in the film until his 2006 death threw things into limbo due to legal troubles.
A big thanks to none other than Mick Jagger who will be producing the film with Brian Grazer (8 Mile, Katy Perry: Part Of Me). A new director is also on board, Tate Taylor (The Help), replacing initial director Spike Lee.
Casting has started for the film. But in case Mick and co. need some suggestions, we've compiled a list of our top picks for who could pull off the role of Soul Brother No. 1.
The soulful pop star has that same raspy delivery that reminds us of James Brown's signature style. Plus, you can't deny Mars has that '60s soul look down pat.
Singles like “Climax” and “Scream” prove that Usher can match Brown’s vocal range. But the duo's collaboration at the 2005 Grammys may indicate that Usher would be Soul Brother No. 1's personal pick. Not only did Usher emulate Brown’s vocal stylings live, but their dance off, followed by a huge hug, seemed to indicate a metaphorical passing of the torch.
2012 was the “Adorn” singer's breakout year, but Miguel has actually been hustling in the industry for more than a decade. Should he decide to try a new project in 2013, we humbly suggest the JB role.
Sure, Brown claimed it was a "Man's Man's Man's World," but make-up can do wonders and Monae has embodied Brown’s famous stage performance more than other recent star. Not only has she proven she can keep up with the choreography and nail the wails, but she’s even paid homage to his costumes wearing a Brown-esque cape during her performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
We'll further convince you with this awesome video from Whose Line Is It Anyway? where he acts out a James Brown vs. Michael Jackson celebrity death match.
He has that same rasp in his voice that Brown was known for (he covered “It’s A Man's, Man’s, Man’s World” on Soul). But we admit Seal would have to step up his stage game if he wanted to portray the singer. Depending on how much of Brown’s life is covered in the biopic, Seal could undoubtedly play an elderly Brown. He's bound to have a little more time of his hands now that he's done being a "Sex Machine" with Heidi Klum.
Brown’s influence is undeniable on the former Tony! Toni! Toné! member—just take a listen to his 2011 single “Radio”.
But Saadiq has proved his acting chops to none other than the casting agents over at NBC. He was set to play Sam Cooke for an episode of The Playboy Club—too bad it was the first show cancelled of the fall 2011 season and the episode never aired. Comeback role anyone?!
He loves wearing Brown-esque wigs in concert (see photo) and on The Voice and we know he can sang. Cee Lo might need to go on a bit of fitness kick to be able to pull off Brown’s cardio-like stage show.
We already know what you’re thinking. Her? But if Cate Blanchett can be Bob Dylan, why not Xtina as James Brown!? SHE was chosen as the SOLE performer in the James Brown tribute at the 2007 Grammys. Her performance of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” showed that the singer truly studied and embodied the legend. (Um, did you hear her nail that wail note?)
Plus, she and Mick Jagger (remember he's the producer!) once got quite close during a Rolling Stones performance.