Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis Passed Away At 80

Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis Passed Away At 80 | Society Of Rock Videos

via Redtenbacher's Funkestra / Youtube


Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, and bandleader for James Brown, passed away on September 23 at the age of 80. This was revealed on the musician’s Facebook page.

“With great sadness we have to announce that Pee Wee passed away last night following complications with his heart,” the statement read. “We are working on plans to celebrate his wonderful life and hope you will all take time to listen to his music and continue his legacy.”

After the news broke, numerous tributes began pouring in.

“We just lost another bandmate & legend, Mr. Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis,” Bootsy Collins wrote on Twitter. “He was a member of James Brown’s band in the 60s, recording many of Brown’s recordings “Cold Sweat”, “Say It Loud “. He also worked with Van Morrison. A silent genius & brilliant arrangements. Prayers to Family!”

Ellis was best known for composing and arrange multiple James Brown songs including the classic hits including “Cold Sweat” and “Say It Loud-I’m Black and I’m Proud” – the last of which was used during last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.

“I’m deeply proud,” he told The Independent, “to have played a part in creating a song that is inspiring young people today.”

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