Was James Brown murdered? When CNN reporter Thomas Lake received a phone call in 2017 from Jacque Hollander, a circus singer and one of Brown’s friends alleging he was killed in 2006, Lake’s interest was piqued. Hollander is a songwriter who met Brown in the 1980s. In “The James Brown Mystery,” Lake and Hollander explore looming questions about Brown’s death and other deaths in his circle. The duo finds themselves investigating secrets, intimidation, and possible murder.
In 2019, Lake published Lost in the Woods with James Brown’s Ghost and previously reported on Darren Lumar’s death and crimes, Brown’s son-in-law who was killed. Hollander claims other members of Brown’s inner circle have died mysteriously, including his 3rd wife, Adrienne Brown.
James Brown had long-standing suspicions against the government and believed he was being surveilled by the CIA. Hollander said Adrienne thought a criminal organization called “The Machine” closely watched Brown. Both Adrienne and Hollander also believed the US government spied and attempted to kill them. On the podcast, Lake also delves into questions regarding government surveillance, celebrity, and theories.
“The James Brown Mystery” is presented by CNN. Start the podcast from the beginning with all 8 episodes clocking in under an hour on average.
Lake met Hollander for the first time in Chicago after speaking with her on the phone for several months. Hollander proved that she knew James Brown by playing Lake a video where she sat for a polygraph test with a former FBI agent in 1995. Lake further dives into Hollander’s connection with Brown, her part in Atlanta’s music scene, and how she joined his inner circle.
Brown sang lead vocals on a song Hollander penned for the Atlanta Falcons’ football team, “Atlanta will be Rockin’.” Hollander discusses memories with Brown, including an evening in 1988 that changed her life. On the series, Hollander shares how her relationship with Brown “would nearly destroy her career.”
Hollander is now 61 years old and continues to write songs and produce records. This podcast sheds light on mysteries surrounding Brown’s death, the Godfather of Soul’s personal suspicions, and extraordinary music career.