From A+E: A&E Network has greenlit four-part documentary event “James Brown: Say It Loud” (working title) exploring the entertainment icon’s legacy as a musical force, cultural catalyst, and dominant Black creative voice. The documentary event delves into Brown’s improbably epic life and sound that was as innovative as it was influential. Exploring his legacy through exclusive interviews with friends, family, collaborators and proteges as well as his beloved music catalog, the documentary also includes never-before-seen archival footage. The documentary will premiere on A&E in 2023 timed to what would have been Brown’s 90th birthday. The series is directed by Deborah Riley Draper and executive produced by Mick Jagger, Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, Peter Afterman, David Blackman, Victoria Pearman, Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter, Shawn Gee, Zarah Zohlman and Charlie Cohen. Co-Executive Producers for Polygram are Madeline Post and Robert Komadina. Producer for Inaudible Films is Sarah Haber.

“I am thrilled to be producing the four part documentary series with A&E delving into the fascinating life of James Brown,” said executive producer Mick Jagger. “He was a brilliant performer who inspired me from the beginning and was deeply committed to the Civil Rights movement. I have always admired James and learned so much from him. I look forward to bringing the series to life.”

“The life of James Brown is significant not only to understand his immense musical impact, which inspires us and other artists to this day, but also for the deep and lasting impression he has had on American culture,” said executive producers Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter. “Brown’s life is a crucial and timely story of struggle, redemption, and self-identity and we are honored to have the chance to share it.”

“A&E has a long legacy as a home for bold, insightful, and engaging storytelling that pushes boundaries and bring viewers deeper into the lives and worlds they thought they knew,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E. “We are honored to partner with executive producers Mick Jagger, Questlove, Black Thought, the teams at Inaudible Films, Jagged Films, Two One Five Entertainment, Polygram Entertainment, and director Deborah Riley Draper to continue this tradition with ‘James Brown: Say It Loud’ to provide audiences with an in-depth look, not only into the extraordinary life of the Godfather of Soul, but also his immeasurable influence as a cultural force in American society.”

Across four hours, “James Brown: Say it Loud” traces the intense highs and lows of James Brown’s life and career from a 7th grade drop-out arrested for armed robbery in the Jim Crow era South to an entertainment legend whose words, songs, style and moves inspired musical revolutions and molded a nation’s view of Black pride and Black masculinity. Consistently facing obstacles and unbelievable odds, the documentary details how Brown persevered through decades of personal demons, racial injustice and career setbacks to find redemption and become one of the most celebrated and influential artists of the 20th century. “James Brown: Say It Loud” is a definitive look at a complicated life and a reflection on the immense impact Brown continues to have as a musical and cultural trailblazer.

“James Brown: Say It Loud” is produced by Inaudible Films in association with Polygram Entertainment for A&E Network. Peter Afterman serves as executive producer for Inaudible Films along with producer Sarah Haber. Executive producers for Jagged Films are Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman. Executive Producers for Two One Five Entertainment are Amhir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter, Shawn Gee, and Zarah Zohlman. David Blackman serves as an executive producer with Madeline Post and Robert Komadina as co-executive producers for Polygram Entertainment. Charlie Cohen also serves as executive producer. Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson serve as executive producers for A&E Network.