Danny Ray, the man who handed James Brown his cape during the soul legend’s most famous live shows, has died.
The 85-year-old died on Tuesday night (February 2nd) of natural causes, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
“The James Brown estate mourns the passing of Mr. Danny Ray, the legendary emcee and cape man for James Brown,” officials for Brown’s estate said in a statement. “Ray worked with Brown from 1960 until the music legend’s death on Christmas day 2006 (sic). He became famous for draping a cape over Brown at the end of his signature tune Please, Please, Please. Mr. Ray was the second-hardest working man in show business.”
Rev. Al Sharpton was among the first people to pay tribute to Ray, tweeting: “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/ (with) The Godfather of Soul. Danny will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace and Power, family.”
Ray was originally Brown’s valet before becoming his pre-concert emcee. His voice can be heard in introductions on multiple Brown live recordings, which have been sampled by a number of Hip-Hop artists throughout the years.
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
Bassist Bootsy Collins has also paid tribute, tweeting: “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 Others, he becomes Bigger than his Proceived (sic) appearance! Thx u Mr. Ray…”