How Many Wives Did James Brown Have? Meet His Spouses

James Brown has had three wives from his three failed marriages. His first wife was Velma Warren, the name of his second wife was Deidre “Deedee” Jenkins, and lastly, he was married to Adrienne Lois Rodriguez.

The legendary American singer, songwriter, and dancer was not only known for his groundbreaking contributions to music but also his colorful personal life. Throughout his life, Brown’s three wives each played a significant role in his journey. These women not only witnessed his rise to fame but also experienced the ups and downs of his career and personal struggles.

James Brown’s Spouses

James Brown had a total of three wives, each playing a significant role in his personal and professional journey. The legendary Godfather of Soul, was primarily known for his electrifying performances and his influential music. However, his love life was equally noteworthy, as he had a string of marriages throughout his life.

His first wife was Velma Warren, whom he married in 1953. They had three children together before divorcing in 1969. Although their marriage ended, Warren remained an integral part of Brown’s life, managing his business affairs for several years.

After divorcing Warren, Brown married Deidre Jenkins in 1970. Jenkins was an established singer in her own right and had a successful career before marrying Brown. However, their union was short-lived, and they divorced in 1979.

Finally, in 1984, Brown married his third wife, Adrienne Rodriguez. Their marriage lasted for fifteen years until Rodriguez’s tragic death in 1996. Despite the challenges they faced, including Brown’s legal troubles and drug addiction, their marriage was a significant part of his life.

Each of Brown’s marriages had its unique dynamics and challenges. His relationships were often turbulent, reflecting the complexities of his personal life. Despite these difficulties, he had children with each of his wives, and their contributions to his life cannot be understated.

Throughout his career, Brown’s personal life often intersected with his music. His experiences with love, loss, and relationships were frequently reflected in his songs. From the passionate love anthems to the heart-wrenching ballads, Brown’s music became a window into his emotional journey.

James Brown had three marriages in his lifetime, each with its own story. Velma Warren, Deidre Jenkins, and Adrienne Rodriguez all played significant roles in his life, contributing to his personal growth and inspiring his music.

Despite the ups and downs, Brown’s love life remains an important part of his legacy, showcasing the complexities of a man who was not only a musical icon but also a human being with his struggles and triumphs.

Who Was James Brown’s First Wife?

James Brown’s first wife was Velma Warren, and she was an American woman from Georgia. Unfortunately, not much is known about her personal life or birth family background. Also, there is no information available about her formal educational background or her profession.

Velma Warren and James Brown began dating at the start of his career, but the exact duration of their courtship is unknown. They got married on June 19, 1953. The marriage lasted for 16 years before they divorced in 1969. Velma Warren and James Brown had three children together: Terry Brown, Larry Brown, and Teddy Brown, Brown’s eldest son who died in a plane crash on June 14, 1973.

It is reported that the couple had issues during their marriage, including allegations of domestic abuse suffered by Velma Warren at the hands of James Brown. These issues ultimately led to their divorce in 1969.

Velma Warren Brown has claimed that she was never divorced from James Brown. However, court records from 1969 show that a judge granted their divorce that year. The official documentation contradicts Velma’s claim. Additionally, it is known that James Brown went on to marry two more times after his divorce from Velma.

According to several sources, Velma Warren did not inherit anything from James Brown’s estate. There is no information available about Velma Warren’s current whereabouts or what she is currently doing. Her current status remains unknown.

Deirdre Jenkins Was James Brown’s Second Wife

Deidre “Deedee” Jenkins, the second wife of James Brown, was reportedly born on April 15, 1953, making her 71 years old as of 2024. Not much public information is available about her birth family or formal educational background as she became notable majorly for her relationship with James Brown rather than her career.

James Brown Wives

A handful of sources have specified that Jenkins allegedly pursued a career as a songwriter, collaborating with James Brown on some projects. However, detailed records or significant accomplishments regarding her songwriting career aren’t widely documented.

James Brown and Deidre Jenkins met in the late 1960s. They dated for several years before getting married on October 22, 1970. Their marriage lasted for about a decade, during which they had two daughters: Yamma Brown and Deanna Brown Thomas.

Brown and Jenkins’ daughters have kept relatively private lives and haven’t sought much public attention despite their father’s fame.

Their Marital Troubles and Separation Led To Their Divorce

James Brown’s marriage to Deidre Jenkins faced numerous challenges, including allegations of domestic abuse inflicted upon Jenkins by Brown. This strained their marriage, leading to a brief separation in 1974. They reconciled but faced further issues, ultimately separating again in 1979.

The divorce between James Brown and Deidre Jenkins was finalized on January 10, 1981, marking the end of their tumultuous relationship. Despite their split, Jenkins maintained a level of involvement in her daughters’ lives.

Regarding inheritance, details about Jenkins inheriting from James Brown’s estate after his death aren’t widely publicized or confirmed. There is also limited information available about Jenkins post-divorce. She appears to have maintained a private life away from the public eye.

Deidre “Deedee” Jenkins’ life largely revolved around her relationship with James Brown, and she managed to keep a low profile afterward. The turbulent nature of their marriage and subsequent divorce highlighted the challenges they faced, contributing to her retreat from the public eye.

James Brown’s Third Wife Was Adrienne Lois Rodriguez

James Brown’s third marriage to Adrienne Lois Rodriguez was a significant chapter in the singer’s life, marked by both love and tumult. Born on March 9, 1950, in Mexico, Rodriguez’s early life remains shrouded in mystery, her family’s background largely unknown, except for their immigration to the United States when she was young.

Rodriguez met singer James Brown in 1981 when she was working as a hairstylist on a movie set. Her encounter with the late singer sparked a relationship that led to marriage in 1984 after about three years of dating.

However, their union was marred by turbulence and made headlines due to domestic abuse complaints, leading to Brown facing charges of felony assault against Adrienne four times during their time together.

This contentious relationship saw Rodriguez filing for divorce in 1988, citing years of cruel treatment, yet they ultimately reconciled. Their reconciliation was temporary, and in 1994, they separated for what was the last time. Sources claim that they technically remained married until Adrienne’s death a couple of years later in 1996.

Adrienne Lois Rodriguez passed away on January 6, 1996, at the age of 45, under circumstances that remain haunting. She underwent a liposuction procedure on January 4, 1996, and two days later collapsed at a Beverly Hills Health Facility where she was recuperating.

Rushed to Century City Hospital, she was pronounced dead due to heart failure precipitated most likely by the plastic surgery she had just undergone.

Adrienne’s burial at Walker Memorial Park in Augusta, Georgia, marked the conclusion of a tumultuous and tragic marriage that was marred by domestic abuse and tragedy for both Adrienne and James Brown.

This period of their lives stands as a testament to the complexities of relationships, the impact of domestic abuse, and the consequences of elective surgeries, offering a poignant narrative of highs and lows within the life of a celebrated public figure like James Brown and Adrienne Lois Rodriguez, his lesser-known but equally impactful third wife.

James Brown’s Fourth Marriage – To Tomi Rae Hynie – Was Deemed Illegal

James Brown was married a fourth time to singer Tomi Rae Hynie in 2001, however, the union was mired in controversy and legal disputes.

James Brown Wives
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Tomi Rae Hynie had a modest music career before her involvement with James Brown. She began singing at a young age and performed in various bands, eventually gaining recognition for her soulful voice.

She once worked as a sound-alike Janis Joplin impersonator in Las Vegas before lending her voice as a backup singer within the James Brown Revue, leaving an indelible mark on the music scene.

Her vocal contributions to James Brown’s 2001 track “Killing Is Out, School Is In” underscore her significance. Beyond her past endeavors, she ventured into forming Hardly Dangerous, an all-female rock band during the 1980s, a journey that continues to this day.

Notably, she expanded her musical horizons, co-founding the rock and soul ensemble, Godmother of Soul, which boasts esteemed members like Quiet Riot’s Kelly Garni, Lez Warner of The Cult fame, and guitarist Raven Storm.

In a recent development in 2023, Tommie Rae found herself collaborating with the UK gospel blues band, The Future Shape of Sound, further diversifying her artistic repertoire.

James Brown Met Tomi Rae Hynie When He Hired Her In The Late 1990s

It was in the late 1990s when James Brown hired Tomi Rae Hynie as a backup singer for his band. Impressed by her talent, Brown quickly took an interest in her, and their professional relationship soon turned romantic.

Despite a significant age difference of more than three decades, with Brown born in 1933 and Hynie in 1969, they formed a connection and began dating. They tied the knot in December 2001.

Controversy Surrounded James Brown’s Marriage To Tomi Rae Hynie

There was a controversy surrounding James Brown’s marriage to Hynie, which arose not long after their nuptials. This controversy primarily arose after it was discovered that Tomi Rae was still legally married to another man, Javed Ahmed, a Pakistani whom she claimed married her in 1997 for a “green card” in immigration fraud.

Hynie claimed that she had divorced her previous husband, but it was later revealed that the divorce which was finalized in 2004, was not finalized at the time of her marriage to Brown in 2001. This revelation led to questions about the validity of their union.

Legal proceedings ensued, with both sides presenting arguments about the legitimacy of the marriage. In 2004, a South Carolina judge declared the marriage between James Brown and Tomi Rae Hynie “null and void”.

The judge cited Hynie’s failure to dissolve her previous marriage as the reason for the ruling. This decision meant that Hynie was not legally recognized as Brown’s wife, consequently affecting her claim to his estate.

Tomi Rae Hynie Faced A Challenging Battle For A Slice Of James Brown’s Inheritance

Following James Brown’s death in 2006, Tomi Rae Hynie faced a challenging battle for a slice of his estate alongside her son, James II. The legal battles surrounding Brown’s estate were protracted and contentious, involving multiple parties and conflicting claims.

Ultimately, the court’s decision was split, with one deeming that her marriage to Brown was legal because of the invalidity of the first ruling, while another court ruled against Hynie, arguing that her marriage to Brown was not valid and. Therefore, she was not entitled to any inheritance.

Georgia Court Of Appeal Confirmed Tomi Rae Hynie As James Brown’s Widow

However, in the summer of 2018, the Georgia Court of Appeals sided with the probate judge in Augusta, confirming Hynie as the former wife and widow of James Brown. Despite objections from Brown’s children, who argued against her status due to a previous marriage, the court upheld her position.

Subsequently, news emerged that the estate had reached a settlement agreement with Hynie. Overall, James Brown’s illegal fourth marriage to Tomi Rae Hynie in 2001 was characterized by controversy and legal disputes.


How Many Times Was James Brown Married?

James Brown was technically married four times, even though his fourth marriage to Tomi Rae Hynie was mired in controversy as a result of her inability to annul a previous marriage on time.

Who Was James Brown’s First Wife?

James Brown’s first wife was Velma Warren, an American woman from Georgia.

Is James Brown’s Third Wife Adrienne Lois Rodriguez Still Alive?

No, Adrienne Lois Rodriguez passed away on January 6, 1996, after a heart failure precipitated by complications from a plastic surgery she had undergone two days earlier on January 4, 1996.

Hugo Wright
Hugo Wright
Hugo has extensive professional writing experience and has been writing and editing articles on multiple platforms for several years now. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favourite pastimes.


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