Fans, friends, and family came from all corners of the Washington, D.C. Metro area to honor and bid farewell to the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, on Thursday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. While some waited in line throughout the night, others danced and shouted to familiar music. Brown’s memorial service was hosted by longtime D.C. DJ Donnie Simpson. The service brought in thousands, including Brown’s family, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, and number of politicians and celebrities, such as Mike Epps, Doug E. Fresh, and Ledisi.
The service was held two days after a public viewing took place at the Howard Theatre, which included more than 13,000 people, Mayor Gray said. To the supporters, Gray asked, “D.C. knows how to send someone home, don’t we.” Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton also gave a speech at the service, commenting that she came “in praise of Chuck Brown and what he gave to D.C.” Norton said, “Chuck Brown stood for statehood for the District. D.C. discovered Chuck Brown before the Grammys.” Brown died on May 16 at the age of 75. He created Go-Go from a unique mix of funk, soul, and Latin party sounds in the nation’s capital. He was a D.C. native who began his career in the 1960s and is best known for songs such as “I Need Some Money” and “Bustin’ Loose.” He is survived by his wife and children.