A public funeral for music legend James Brown will be held Saturday at the arena that bears his name in Augusta, Ga. The body of Brown, who died Monday in Atlanta at age 73, will lie in state at the A

The James Brown statue on Broad Street in his hometown of Augusta, Ga., was draped in an American flag and a red scarf as several dozen people gathered today (Dec. 26) to pay their respects to the late singer. Flowers were left at the base of the statue in tribute to Brown, who died Monday in Atlanta. He was 73.

The Rev. Al Sharpton will officiate at Brown's funeral service, said Brown's agent, Frank Copsidas.

Sharpton and some of Brown's relatives spent this afternoon at an Augusta funeral home, where they were expected to view the singer's body and complete funeral arrangements.

The public funeral service will be held Saturday at James Brown Arena in Augusta, followed by burial later in the day, Copsidas said. Brown's body will lie in state at the Apollo Theater in New York on Thursday and again on Saturday at the Augusta arena. A private service for family and friends will be held Friday at an undisclosed location.

The singer died of heart failure less than two days after he had been hospitalized with pneumonia and only three days after leading his annual holiday toy giveaway in Augusta.

He also had diabetes and prostate cancer that was in remission. But he initially seemed fine at the hospital and talked about his New Year's Eve show at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York, Copsidas said. An announcement is expected tomorrow about a replacement for the gig.

The New York City club wasn't the only venue affected by Brown's death. Some 1,400 tickets had been sold as of late last week for a show tomorrow night at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Conn., which was to kick off a national tour. The theater box office was issuing refunds.


AP LogoCopyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.