Brown’s death followed an extended hospital stay that reportedly stemmed from a pneumonia diagnosis. Pneumonia is one of several ailments potentially stemming from sepsis, which is a severe illness caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection, according to WebMD. Chemicals released into the blood to fight the infection trigger widespread inflammation which can cause organ damage. The malady is also known as “blood infection.”
Brown hit the music scene in the 1960s as a guitarist for Jerry Butler and The Earls of Rhythm and later for Los Latinos. It was with Los Latinos that Brown would develop the sound that would eventually become known as “go-go.” That sound is most recognized on his late-70s hit “Bustin’ Loose,” which spent four weeks atop the U.S. R&B charts. The song was repackaged for a modern audience when rap superstar Nelly interpolated it into his 2002 single “Hot In Herre.”
Brown traveled the world with his music but always made it back home to D.C., and his city loved him as much as he loved it. Rapper Wale, a fellow D.C. native, tweeted his condolences to Brown yesterday:
RIP to the Legend …Chuck Brown. u will be missed worldwide. #dcornothing
— Wale Folarin(@Wale) May 16, 2012
The last seemingly self-written post on Brown’s Facebook page expressed his love for D.C., showing that home was on his mind even as he lie in what would be his death bed:
Much love and thanks for all the support ya’ll been giving me these past few weeks. I’m still in recovery mode, but doing better and looking forward to partying with ya’ll again soon! I’m grateful for all the well wishes and kind notes – there’s no love like DC love!
Brown is survived by his sons Neko and Wiley.