Show will go on for James Brown

The Associated Press

James Brown will perform in New Zealand after the government granted the Godfather of Soul a special visa, despite a string of criminal convictions that would normally ban him from the country.

Brown, 70, received a special event work visa to perform a “one night only” show in the northern city of Auckland tonight, immigration officials said.

The singer faces a jury trial in South Carolina in a domestic violence case involving his wife. Eight months ago, he was pardoned by a state board for seven convictions over 10 years, mostly involving weapons.

Other convictions involved assault, drugs and high-speed car chases.


Officials granted the visa because they “felt that the benefits of allowing [Brown] to visit New Zealand outweighed any conflicting concerns,” said Immigration Service spokesman Brett Solvander.