James Brown’s Last Wife Had Another Husband, Who Had Other Wives

by Jeremy Spirogis
James Brown performing at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1968.

Musicians have an enduring affect on the world, they usually reside on by means of their music and affect. This is definitely the case for the “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown.

Brown rose to fame all through the 1950s to change into one of the crucial recognizable voices in the whole world. The singer racked up quite a few accolades all through his celebrated profession together with lifetime achievement awards from each the Grammy’s and BET.

While Brown’s skilled life was full of celebratory moments, his private life was a bit extra complicated. The singer’s 2006 dying — which occurred on Christmas Day — has lengthy been held as suspicious, and his difficult relationship along with his final spouse made issues much more difficult because the members of the family argued over his closing resting place and the destiny of his appreciable property. 

James Brown had a sophisticated relationship historical past 

James Brown performing at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1968.
James Brown | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Brown’s legacy started with humble roots in an impoverished and troubled South Carolina household. Born in 1933, Brown discovered his manner into R&B by way of gospel music, which was a well-liked path into the fast-growing style.

Brown hopped round amongst varied musical teams with soulful sounds and far success. But his solo profession actually took off within the 1970s as his sound turned extra experimental, and he developed what can be referred to as “funk.” 

Brown’s private life was dotted with a number of difficult marriages. His first spouse, Velma Warren, turned his bride manner again in 1953, they usually had three youngsters. The pair went their separate methods round 1969.

But after Brown’s dying, the girl got here ahead to assert that they’d by no means formally divorced. As Today studies, her declare was dismissed as a result of she herself had remarried.

“If Ms. Brown believed that she was not divorced, she’s admitting to having herself committed bigamy,” an legal professional representing a number of of James Brown’s youngsters defined. 

Shortly after that marriage, Brown remarried. This time, his spouse was a girl named Deirdre Jenkins, they usually added two extra youngsters. Jenkins divorced Brown with allegations of home abuse in 1981.

Shortly after that, Brown married Adrienne Lois Rodriguez. She, too, alleged abuse from Brown, and the pair filed for divorce in 1988, but it surely was by no means finalized. Instead, their marriage didn’t formally finish till Rodriguez died in 1996.

James Brown’s final marriage was probably the most difficult

After Rodriguez died, Brown married once more. This time he wed background singer Tomi Rae Hynie in 2001. The pair had an official wedding ceremony ceremony in 2002.

However, Hynie was nonetheless married to her earlier husband on the time. Hynie, who labored as a Janis Joplin impersonator, had married Javed Ahmed in 1997, in line with The Hollywood Reporter.

When Brown died, Hynie’s declare as his authorized partner — and thus authorized inheritor to his fortune — was difficult by the truth that her earlier marriage was not technically annulled till 2004.

By that time, her relationship with Brown was hitting the identical sorts of obstacles his earlier marriages had seen. Brown was arrested for home assault, and each events took their points to court docket in search of to finish the wedding — which may not have even been a authorized marriage.

Hynie later knowledgeable the court docket of a settlement the place she waived her proper to common-law marriage, however then the pair reconciled, and Hynie lived with Brown till his dying. 

James Brown’s marriage woes have left a authorized mess 

Hynie was by no means talked about in Brown’s will, however she says it is just as a result of he by no means up to date it throughout their relationship. Her son with Brown — James Brown II — was additionally not talked about within the will. But each events have been arguing that they’ve a authorized proper to the property.

Meanwhile, Brown has 9 youngsters and grandchildren from earlier marriages vying for a similar fortune, and the whole factor has change into a authorized tangle. 

Complicating issues even additional is the truth that Hynie’s preliminary marriage to Ahmed might by no means have been legitimate within the first place. After their wedding ceremony, Ahmed revealed that he had three different wives in Pakistan, and Hynie claims that he was solely in search of U.S. citizenship. She alleges that he fled with out ending or consummating the wedding. 

The battles over Brown’s substantial fortune and — maybe much more importantly for historical past — the rights to his music are nonetheless ongoing regardless that the singer died greater than a decade in the past. The case wound its manner by means of the courts till it ended up on the South Carolina Supreme Court. There, lastly, the court docket dominated that Hynie was not Brown’s authorized spouse in June 2020.

According to The New York Times, Brown’s heirs — together with probably James Brown II who needed to take two DNA assessments to show Brown’s paternity — nonetheless have extra particulars to work out, however Hynie’s declare as a surviving partner seems to be formally over. 

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