James Brown Public Viewing To Be Held At Apollo Theater, Partner Battles Over Home

Fans

of soul icon James Brown are expected in droves Thursday (Dec. 28) as the late

singer’s body is brought to Harlem’s Apollo Theater for a public viewing.

Brown

died early Christmas morning in Atlanta of congestive heart failure. The 73-year-old

Godfather of Soul, who’s musical influence is felt in R&B, hip-hop, funk

and disco, was slated to perform on New Year’s Eve in Manhattan at B.B. King’s

blues club. News

of Brown’s death is still being felt as mourners paid their respects to the

Grammy-winning singer Tuesday (Dec. 26) in his hometown of Augusta, Ga. The

Apollo viewing holds a special meaning in the career of Brown, who made his debut

at the famed venue. "His

greatest thrill was always the lines around the Apollo Theater, " said the

Rev. Al Sharpton, one of Brown’s closest friends, in an interview from Georgia.

"I felt that James Brown in all the years we talked would have wanted one

last opportunity to let the people say goodbye to him and he to the people."

Sharpton,

who is currently making funeral arrangements with Brown’s children, revealed

that a private ceremony in Augusta will be held on Friday (Dec. 29) after the

Apollo viewing. He

will also preside over another public ceremony on Saturday (Dec. 30) at the 8,500

seat James Brown Arena. As

plans move forward to lay Brown to rest, his partner, Tomi Rae Hynie, has become

entangled in a legal battle with the singer’s attorney. According to reports,

the 36-year-old back up singer was denied entry into Brown’s Beech Island,

SC home on Monday (Dec. 25) after finding the gates padlocked. Brown’s

lawyer, Buddy Dallas, cited estate legal reasons as the motivation behind the

lock out as well as the fact that Hynie and Brown were not legally married. "It’s

not a reflection on her as an individual," Dallas told The Associated Press.

"I have not even been in the house, nor will I until appropriate protocol

is followed."Dallas

stated that Hynie being married to another man in 2001 when she married Brown.

As a result, this made her marriage to Brown null, said Dallas, who added that

although Hynie later annulled the previous marriage, she and Brown never remarried.

Despite

Dallas’ claims, Hynie told the AP Tuesday that she had documentation to prove

her marriage to Brown was legal and that she has a legal right to live in the

home with her and Brown’s five-year-old son. "This

is my home," Hynie told a reporter outside the home. "I don’t have any

money. I don’t have anywhere to go."Dallas,

who said that Brown and Hynie had not seen each other for several weeks before

his death, maintained that legal formalities need to be followed and that Brown’s

estate was left in trust for his children."It’s

not intended and I hope not interpreted to be an act of unkindness or an act of

a lack of sympathy," said Dallas, who did not elaborate on Brown’s final

instructions. "Ms. Hynie has a home a few blocks away from Mr. Brown’s home

where she resides periodically when she is not with Mr. Brown. She is not without

housing or home."

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