James Brown Drummer John ‘Jabo’ Starks Dead at 79 Performed alongside Clyde Stubblefield on hits like The Payback,” “Super Bad,” “Sex Machine” John “Jabo” Starks, the drummer who helped anchor some of James Brown’s biggest hits, died Tuesday, The New York Times reports. He was 79. Starks’ manager Kathie Williams confirmed his death. She said he’d been in hospice for about a week and was battling leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. Starks played with Brown during the Sixties and Seventies, most notably as part of a percussion duo with Clyde Stubblefield, who died last year. Though Starks and Stubblefield had distinct playing styles, together they created a powerhouse rhythm section that defined funk, and later hip-hop. The duo are among the most sampled drummers of all time. Starks and Stubblefield played in Brown’s live band and joined him in the studio. They worked on classic albums like I Got the Feelin’, Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud and Cold Sweat, while Starks drummed on singles such as “The Payback,” “Super Bad,” “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine.” In Any Event Watch Latest Trending Videos Online On Imperial Hip Hop.