A new four-part documentary series on James Brown has been announced by A&E Network, to arrive in 2023, the year in which he would have turned 90. Mick Jagger will serve as an executive producer of the series, which will be titled James Brown: Say It Loud and directed by Deborah Riley Draper. Questlove and Black Thought, among others, are also aboard as executive producers.
The programs will feature unseen material from the archives and interviews with friends, family, and collaborators to build a picture of Brown’s indelible influence as a soul, funk, R&B, and dance music pioneer. Fans of “The Godfather of Soul” will recall that in 2014, Jagger was also a producer of the feature biopic Get On Up, which starred Chadwick Boseman and was directed by Tate Taylor. The same year, the Rolling Stones frontman was a producer on HBO’s Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown documentary.
Jagger pronounced himself “thrilled” about his involvement with the series, noting in a statement that Brown “was a brilliant performer who inspired me from the beginning and was deeply committed to the Civil Rights movement. I have always admired James and learned so much from him.”
A&E’s announcement observed: “Consistently facing obstacles and unbelievable odds, the documentary details how Brown persevered through decades of personal demons, racial injustice and career setbacks to find redemption and become one of the most celebrated and influential artists of the 20th century.”
Questlove and Black Thought added: “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. Brown’s life is a crucial and timely story of struggle, redemption, and self-identity and we are honored to have the chance to share it.”