James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and recording artist. He is one of the founding fathers of funk music and is a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance. In a career that spanned six decades, Brown profoundly influenced the development of many different musical genres. Brown moved on a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly "Africanized" approach to music making. First coming to national public attention in the mid-1950s as a member of the R&B singing group The Famous Flames, Brown performed in concerts, first making his rounds across the chitlin' circuit, and then across the country and later around the world, along with appearing in shows on television and in movies. Although he contributed much to the music world through his hitmaking, Brown holds the record as the artist who charted the most singles on the Billboard Hot 100 without ever hitting number one on that chart.