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Farewell to Donna Summer and Chuck Brown

Ron Scott | 5/23/2012, 6:05 p.m.

The soundtrack of Spike Lee's film "School Daze" (1988) featured the single "Da Butt." Written by Marcus Miller and Mark Stevens and performed by E.U., it became a Billboard hit and swings in the style of go-go funk.

With its repetitive sing-talk vocals, go-go is sometimes cited as an influence on early rap. In 2002, the rapper Nelly sampled "Bustin' Loose" in his No. 1 song "Hot in Herre." In 2005, the National Endowment for the Arts gave Brown a National Heritage Fellowship Award, and in 2009, Washington, D.C., renamed a block on Seventh Street in the Northwest section of the city, near the Howard Theater, "Chuck Brown Way."

In 2011, Brown was nominated for his first Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for his song "Love," featuring singer Jill Scott and bassist Marcus Miller.

Marc Cary, one of the most innovative jazz pianists and composers on today's scene, grew up amid the go-go music scene in Washington, D.C. Now, based in New York City, he credits Brown as one of his early music mentors.

"Go-go is D.C.'s very own unique contribution to the world of pop music, and Chuck Brown was regarded as go-go's creator and, arguably, its most legendary artist," said District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray.