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A Life Of Illness: Inside James Brown’s Secret Health Crisis Before Death

Apr. 18 2018, Updated 7:02 p.m. ET

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Known as one of the greatest soul singers and performers of all time, James Brown shocked the nation when he passed away on Christmas Day, 2006, following a series of unknown health ailments.

Now, REELZ’s new docuseries, Autopsy: James Brown seeks to uncover the truth behind the musician’s medical crises, and the final illness that led to his death.

“James Brown worked hard to create James Brown and he spent a lifetime ensuring that mask never slept,” says Dr. Michael Hunter in the show teaser. “His driven, controlling personality and energetic performances all hid the fact that underneath it all, he was a sick man.”

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“The fact he had a combination of diabetes, pneumonia and coronary artery disease on top of all of his other health conditions meant James Brown’s heart was a ticking time bomb — and it was only a matter of time before something lit the fuse,” adds Hunter.

Though he bottled up various health issues over the years, few people knew James Brown was secretly dying while delighting so many with his beautiful talent.

“He’s just the best entertainment ever… he’s made everybody happy, you know? He made me happy. He changed my life forever,” says Tomi Rae Brown, James Brown’s widow, in the show teaser.

Autopsy: James Brown airs Sunday, April 15 at 8:00 ET / PT on REELZ.

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