James Brown's Daughters Argue Hip-Hop Wouldn’t Exist Without Him: ‘No Michael Jackson... Usher’

The musician’s family and friends discuss his legendary impact in a new docuseries called 'James Brown: Say It Loud.'

(Photo by Steve Rapport / Getty Images), (Photo by Prince Williams / FilmMagic), (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International / Getty Images)

James Brown's children believe hip-hop, Usher, and Michael Jackson wouldn't exist without their father's legendary contributions to music.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE to promote A&E's four-hour docuseries, James Brown: Say It Loud, the singer’s daughters claimed the music industry wouldn't be what it is today without him. 

"There would be no hip-hop. There would be no rap, because he's the most-sampled artist," Deanna Brown said. "There would be no Michael [Jackson], there would be no Usher, there'd be no Chris Brown — all these people who took from him."

The Godfather of Soul is widely credited for influencing and evolving a number of genres through his long career, including rock, funk, disco, rap, and hip-hop. 

"I mean, where would it be?” Deanna continued. “You could ask a lot of these musicians, they'll tell you the same thing. It would probably be zero. I think LL [Cool J] says that in the documentary that the trajectory of music would be — he can't even imagine where it would be without James Brown."

In addition to LL Cool J, the project also features appearances from Questlove, Mick Jagger, Bootsy Collins, Al Sharpton, and others. 

"Somebody sitting at home may be watching it and think, 'His story is not that dissimilar than mine and look what he went on to do,'" Dr. Yamma Brown said. "And if you can inspire somebody to be the greatest at what they can be, that's amazing."

Brown passed on Christmas Day in 2006 at the age of 73. 

"I just wish he was still here to see some of this. He would not believe it,” Yamma added. “He would not believe it." 

James Brown: Say It Loud concludes on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. EST on the A&E network.

Latest in Music