The legendary musician was presented with an award for Lifetime Achievement at the BET Awards (BET and CBSNews.com are subsidiaries of Viacom) - with Michael Jackson making a surprise appearance to actually present the award.
BET Nightly News anchor Jacque Reid talked to Brown about the achievement and the current state of music.
Brown says today's sampling of songs by artists is a disappointment.
"They don't have any songs, they don't have any talent," he said. "When you hear a song today, there is one note. Through the whole song — one note. How are you going to make a song, a composition with one note?"
Brown's career started with more than one note. Early in his life, he was part of the Famous Flames. Soon he became the artist that eventually took center stage.
Brown says he treasures the authenticity of the original group.
"But, I saw the music destroy a lot of people," he said. "I saw it destroy good people. And then later on, it wasn't real no more … Almost all the original Flames are dead. And I'm older than them."
Brown survived and help influence modern music. Many artists have said Brown has been an inspiration for what they do, and many have imitated or added Brown's energetic dance style to their repertoire.
Where did Brown originate his dance steps?
"I played basketball, played football and I was a boxer. And I was super-good at all of them," Brown said. "My daddy wanted me to be a boxer. I liked the baseball. But when I heard those girls screaming when I started singing, it was for all that. I wanted to be where the girls were. And I mean that."
Brown says his performances aren't improvised but are well-organized choreographies and musical productions that have been practiced for years — he even claims to be able to walk through it backwards.
And he says his band has to be perfect, showing why he is known by some as the "hardest working man in show business."