WASHINGTON – Chuck Brown fans came from all corners of the region to honor the Godfather of Go-Go Thursday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Some waited in line all night, while others danced and shouted to familiar tunes.
Hosted by longtime D.C. DJ Donnie Simpson, the memorial service lured thousands including Brown’s family, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and a slew of other politicians and celebrities like Doug E. Fresh, Mike Epps and Ledisi.
The memorial came two days after a public viewing held at the Howard Theatre, which drew more than 13,000 people, according to Gray.
“D.C. knows how to send someone home, don’t we?” he asked the throngs of supporters.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton also spoke at the service, saying that she came “in praise of Chuck Brown and what he gave to D.C.”
“Chuck Brown stood for statehood for the District,” she said. “D.C. discovered Chuck Brown before the Grammys.”
Brown, who died May 16 at age 75, styled a unique mix of funk, soul and Latin party sounds to create go-go music in the nation’s capital.
A D.C. native, Brown began his career in the 1960s and is best known for songs “I Need Some Money” and “Bustin’ Loose.”
The Chuck Brown Band will perform a medley of Brown’s most famous songs to conclude the service at 3:30 p.m.
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Because of the large crowd expected, event planners encourage attendees to use public transportation.
WTOP’s Mark Segraves will also be live tweeting the service. Follow his tweets below:
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