James Brown: Greatest Fashion Hits

Ten of the most outrageous outfits that made the man a style icon.

James Brown was known as the hardest-working man in show biz—but do you have any idea how much effort he must have spent choosing and designing his own costumes? He was truly the rare frontman who could don traditional suits and tuxedos as easily as glam-glittery ensembles: electric-blue jumpsuits, long capes, fur coats, and in-your-face jewelry. Think his music influenced Michael Jackson, Prince, George Clinton, and Bruno Mars? Consider their outfits, too. Inspired by the new PG-13 biopic Get On Up, we present Brown's 10 most dazzling fashion statements—from 1966 to 2008.

Later that year, Brown returned to the Sullivan show for his second and final appearance, sporting a gold floral blazer and vest. Sullivan introduced him as an "unusual youngster." Brown's outfit predated 1967's Summer of Love and the arrival of flower power. If you like floral prints, this wouldn't be a bad place to start.

Intro, Slide 6, Slide 7: photos courtesy of Corbis. All other photos courtesy of Getty.
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