A&E Network announced the four-part documentary yesterday (February 26) and said it’s expected to arrive in 2023.
James Brown: Say It Loud will be directed by Deborah Riley Draper and will be executive produced by Mick Jagger, Questlove and Black Thought, among others.
In a statement, Jagger said he was “thrilled” to executive produce the project, saying: “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.”
Questlove and Black Thought added: “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.
“Brown’s life is a crucial and timely story of struggle, redemption, and self-identity and we are honoured to have the chance to share it.”
In 2014, the late Chadwick Boseman starred as James Brown for the biopic Get On Up, which Jagger also produced. In the same year, Jagger additionally served as a producer on the HBO documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown.
According to reports by Rolling Stone, the deal included the entirety of Brown’s publishing, master income stream, and name and likeness rights that were owned by the estate.
This deal came after Brown‘s family finally settled a 15 year legal wrangle over the late singer’s estate earlier last year. He had specified in his will in 2000 that he would leave very little to his heirs, other than a $2million (£1.46million) scholarship fund for his grandchildren. Most of his assets were left to establish scholarships for underprivileged children in South Carolina and Georgia.
Primary Wave have previously been involved in deals with artists like Stevie Nicks and the estates of Whitney Houston and Prince. With legacy artists increasingly looking to sell song rights as part of the plans for their estates, Primary Wave and other similar companies have taken on a lead role in the song acquisition market.