Chuck Brown dies: 'Godfather of Go-Go' passes away at 75
WATCH: ABC7's Sam Ford reports from the Howard Theater Thursday and talks with local residents who grew up listening to the Godfather of Go-Go.
Chuck Brown, the legendary musician who is known as the "Godfather of Go-Go," passed away Wednesday, his daughter confirmed to ABC7's Sam Ford.
Brown died Wednesday at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. Hospital spokesman Gary Stephenson confirmed Brown had died after a hospital stay that began April 18.
His publicist says the cause of death is multi-organ failure due to sepsis.
Brown's passing comes about a week after the Washington Post confirmed that the musician, considered the pioneer of Go-Go music, had been hospitalized with pneumonia.
Shortly after his death was confirmed, radio stations across the D.C. metro area were filled with his music. Sadness and grief over his passing was soon replaced by a celebration of his life by so-called "Chuckaholics" - his most ardent fans.
"We came out to celebrate the life and legacy of a D.C. icon," Chuck Brown fan Luis Cardona said. "I'm a Chuckaholic from way back."
Brown's 1970 hit, "Bustin' Loose," hit #1 on the MCA charts. The song was later sampled in the 2002 Nelly song, "Hot in Herre," which won Nelly a Grammy.
He had recently postponed numerous shows due to his failing health.
“Go-go is D.C.’s very own unique contribution to the world of pop music, and Chuck Brown was regarded as Go-go’s creator and, arguably, its most legendary artist,” D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said in a statement. “Today is a very sad day for music lovers the world over, but especially in the District of Columbia.
"Without Chuck Brown, the world – and our city – will be a different place. What a loss."
Brown always liked to tell the story of how he grew up on the streets of Washington shining shoes, then later ended up in prison. That's where he would say he got his hands on his first guitar, and the go-go revolution was on.
Thanks to Brown and his deep, gravelly voice, go-go music was uniquely identified with Washington. That's where he continued to play the city's club circuit late in life.
All across D.C., Chuck Brown fans and friends continue to react to his passing on Thursday, flocking to hot spots to remember the music legend.
"Chuck was so good, we had to sneak into the Masonic Temple just to go, because we was little boys," says Chris Galloway.
Gregory "Sugar Bear" Elliott of the band EU (Experience Unlimited) followed Chuck's tradition. The band never stops playing, no breaks to rest.
"He was like a father to me," says Sugar Bear. "I've known Chuck since I was nine years old."
And Mayor Vincent Gray says the city will lower its flags to half staff in Chuck's honor.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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