Ray joined James Brown’s show in 1960 and remained the late icon’s right-hand-man for the bulk of his career.
James Brown‘s longtime emcee and stage general, Danny Ray, has died. He was 85-years-old.
Ray was perhaps best known for draping the late Godfather of Soul in a flowing sequins cape during the “Please Please Me” segment of Brown’s performance. However, as Brown’s former tour manager, Alan Leeds, notes in his eulogy (read below,) Ray was an integral part of both administrating and cueing the hardest working band in show business, on and off stage.
Ray met Brown in 1960 and remained the icon’s right-hand-man for the bulk of his career and right up until his death in 2006. At Brown’s funeral, Ray draped one last cape across the icon’s casket in a fitting and touching tribute. After Brown’s death, Ray went on to emcee for bassist Christian McBride’s big band show between 2013 and 2018. “He was the last of his kind,” McBride wrote in commemoration on Wednesday.
Danny Ray’s death was announced in a statement from the James Brown estate, confirming his passing was of natural causes.
You can watch Danny Ray and James Brown’s cape ceremony from the famed TAMI show below. Scroll on to read some tributes from peers and fans.
“Greetings and salutations, I’m your writer Alan Leeds and I’d like to say: welcome to the Danny Ray Show! He’s emcee #1…
Saddened to get the call that Danny Ray, famed MC and cape man for James Brown, died at 85 years old. He was like an Uncle to me as I traveled the world years ago w/ The Godfather of Soul. Danny will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace and Power, family. pic.twitter.com/R0IqLWhB6E
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) February 3, 2021
Many of you heard the news that Danny Ray, longtime right-hand man to James Brown, passed away yesterday at age 85. I was so humbled and honored to have Mr. Ray emcee my big band from 2013-2018. He was the last of his kind. Please enjoy my tribute. https://t.co/sI6hUQvkTa
— Christian McBride (@mcbridesworld) February 4, 2021
We lost another Legend Mr. Danny Ray.😪 Some called him Cape-man because he put on the Cape for James Brown, but for me when a Man Don’t need his head Rubbed to activate Other’s, he becomes Bigger than his Proceived appearance! Thx u Mr. Ray. Bootsy baby!!!✌️✊ pic.twitter.com/dVfuOLNrgE
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) February 3, 2021
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