Yes, the Godfather of Soul performed onstage with Luciano Pavarotti (and string orchestra) on May 28, 2002. They sang “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”
This took place in Pavarotti’s hometown of Modena, Italy, during one of his annual “Pavarotti & Friends” charity concerts.
Weird as this combination seems, it worked. Big time. J.B. was in great voice. And Pavarotti gave up the funk. (Well, not really... but he is a bad mutha.)
Lou Reed – another of Pavarotti’s unlikely singing partners in 2002 – told a British newspaper that the “Man’s World” performance was “amazing.” See for yourself, through the miracle of YouTube.
(This performance can be found as a bonus feature on the DVD of “James Brown: Soul Survivor,” a PBS “American Masters” special from 2003.)