James Brown has been hailed as the godfather of soul throughout the world.
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (Aug. 4) - DNA testing on about a dozen people who claim James Brown was their father has found that at least two of them are telling the truth, a longtime adviser to the late soul singer said Friday.
Several tests have come back negative, while others are pending, said Buddy Dallas, who did not have exact numbers Friday night.
Dallas refused to identify the two people whose DNA showed they were Brown's children, but The Augusta Chronicle reported that LaRhonda Petitt, a 45-year-old retired flight attendant and teacher in Houston, showed the newspaper a report that says there is a 99.99 percent probability she is Brown's daughter.
She would be the oldest of Brown's children.
Brown picked out Petitt's mother from the crowd at a show in Los Angeles in the early 1960s, and she became the singer's girlfriend, sometimes ironing his shirts before his shows, Petitt said.
But when her mother became pregnant, she split with Brown and moved back to Houston. She would point to the television when Brown was performing and tell her daughter the singer was her father, Petitt told the newspaper.
Petitt said that she met Brown at concerts and spoke to him over the phone, but that he never acknowledged being her father.
"I was angry that he was out there making all this money, and he wasn't doing anything for my mother and me," Petitt told the newspaper. "I could have had a better life."
Brown died Dec. 25 of heart failure at age 73. His body was entombed in a crypt at the home of one of his daughters in March.
Brown's will, which is being disputed in court, names six children.
One possible child of Brown's who hasn't undergone a DNA test is 6-year-old James Brown II, the son of Tomi Rae Hynie. Hynie was one of Brown's backup singers and said she is the singer's fourth wife. But Brown's attorneys continue to dispute that claim, and the boy and his mother are not in the singer's will.
In court papers filed in recent weeks, Dallas said Brown told him that James II was not his child and that instead of calling him "son," he referred to him as "little man."
Whether Petitt makes a claim to Brown's estate depends on whether the will holds up, said her lawyer, Jim Griffin. He would at least like Petitt's two daughters to be eligible for a trust the signer set up to pay for his grandchildren's education, he said.
Petitt said she has grown less bitter about Brown as the years have passed.
I love my daddy," she told the Chronicle. "When I hear my daddy's music, it just freezes me."