James Brown was famous for giving concerts that stretched out until the band, the crowd and James Brown had reached the point of exhaustion, and that refusal to quit is more or less what happened to James Brown's corpse after he died, too.
It took 76 days of bitter legal squabbling, possibly spurious paternity claims and laying around inside a golden coffin in a temperature-controlled room for James Brown to finally get buried – more than enough to exhaust anyone following the story – but on Saturday James Brown was finally laid to rest in a private South Carolina ceremony presided over by Al Sharpton that was noted for its quiet dignity, its solemn remembrance and the moment when James Brown sprung out of his coffin, screamed through a rip-roaring version of Please Please Please and was then escorted back to his grave by two cape-wielding undertakers.
As well as everything he went through during his life – his cathouse childhood, his vast fame, his son's death, his numerous arrests – James Brown has experienced more than the average corpse following his Christmas day death, too. There aren't many people who can say that their dead body got a full-on head kiss from Michael Jackson during a memorial service, or that they got to lounge around in a golden coffin inside an air-conditioned room for months while their family argued and fought over how much inheritance they each deserved, but James Brown sure can.
The freakishly unburied state of James Brown has had the world entranced since Christmas. Thanks to James Brown being so shoddy with legal paperwork that one of his own children wasn't even mentioned in his will, his burial has faced holdup after holdup after holdup. Two weeks ago James Brown was apparently cleared for burial, only for a strange DNA argument to break out, postponing it yet again. But – finally – on Saturday James Brown got buried, and official Seinfeld non-fan Al Sharpton was there to oversee proceedings, as Reuters reports:
"The children used their own funds to pay for their father's entombment so that their father could be put to rest without further delay," Sharpton, who was a friend of Brown, said in the statement. Brown had left "a substantial estate and substantial holdings … which are currently being disputed in court," and Brown's children "wanted to see their father entombed in a resting place without delay, rather than await court decisions," he said.
Don't think that's the last you'll hear from James Brown, though – he'll only stay buried for a little while. Apparently once all the estate disputes are fixed, James Brown will be dug up again and placed in a special public mausoleum that is to be built somewhere else. Judging by the amount of time it took to bury him this time, however, the James Brown public mausoleum isn't actually expected to open until long after you, your friends and up to nine generations of your immediate family have all died.