Danny Ray, the cape man for legendary R&B singer James Brown, has died.
When Brown collapsed onstage, exhausted and bathed in sweat while performing "Please, Please, Please," Ray draped his cape around his shoulders, giving him the strength to continue his performance.
The 85-year-old cape man, who took his job seriously, died Tuesday night of natural causes, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
"The James Brown estate mourns the passing of Mr. Danny Ray, the legendary emcee and cape man for James Brown," officials for Brown's estate said in a statement. "Ray worked with Brown from 1960 until the music legend's death on Christmas day 2006. He became famous for draping a cape over Brown at the end of his signature tune Please, Please, Please. Mr. Ray was the second-hardest working man in show business."
Rev. Al Sharpton was among the first people to pay tribute to Ray, tweeting: "Saddened to get the call that Danny Ray, famed MC and cape man for James Brown, died at 85 years old. He was like an Uncle to me as I traveled the world years ago w/ (with) The Godfather of Soul. Danny will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace and Power, family."
Ray was originally Brown's valet before becoming his pre-concert emcee. His voice can be heard in introductions on multiple Brown live recordings.
Bassist Bootsy Collins also paid tribute, tweeting: "We lost another Legend Mr. Danny Ray. Some called him Cape-man, because he put on the Cape for James Brown, but for me when a Man Don't need his head Rubbed to activate Other's, he becomes Bigger than his Proceived appearance [sic]! Thx u Mr. Ray..."