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Family, friends celebrate the life of ‘Cape Man’ Danny Ray

Published: Feb. 14, 2021 at 12:23 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Friends, family, and fans gathered Saturday in remembrance of Augusta legend Danny Ray.

Danny Ray received a final farewell at the James Brown Arena on Saturday. Though many knew him as a hype man for James Brown, friends and family say they knew him as much more.

The ceremony took place on a center stage -- fitting for someone who spent so much time on one.

“I know that he’s in a better place, he’s in the living arms of God. And surely he’s breathing better than ever,” said Deanna Brown, daughter of James Brown.

Many remember James Brown as a show stopper, but friends say Danny Ray was a show starter as he set the stage for every performance.

“He was the most famous and celebrated emcee host in soul music. His voice set the tone for the James Brown show which was and remains by far the greatest soul show ever to hit the stage,” said Al Sharpton, a friend and civil rights activist. “But it was Danny who would set the mood.”

Samantha Johnson, an alum the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils, says he wasn’t just an entertainer.

“He was more than a cape man. He was a mentor to many young children. He was a beacon of hope in dark times,” said Johnson.

Danny Ray
Danny Ray(WRDW)

For Deanna Brown, he was a keeper of old memories reconnecting her back to her father James Brown.

“Him just giving me history-- my own history. My father. I loved every minute of it because I knew that I was learning something,” said Brown. “So that history, that wisdom that he had, I’m going to miss.”

And just as Danny Ray draped a cape over the King of Soul at his funeral in 2006, family and friends gave the original cape man a cape of his own.

“Over 45 years he draped a cape over my father. It was his turn to receive his own cape,” said Brown.

Instead of flowers, family of Danny Ray are asking for donations to the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils for music scholarships for students.

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