Over Bobby Byrd
When RnB vocalist and songwriter Bobby Byrd passed away in 2007, the longtime sideman of James Brown left behind a towering legacy. Byrd's contributions to the pop cannon include not just the discovery of the so-called Godfather of Soul (the two met when Brown was an inmate at a youth detention facility in Georgia), but writing credits on genre-defining funk hits like "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine." Additionally, Byrd released a clutch of great material before and after his big years as Brown's co-writer and sideman, including "Hot Pants," "I Know You Got Soul," and a slew of other funky gems that were later sampled by next-generation pioneers like Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, and LL Cool J. He died in September of 2007 at the age of 73.