James Brown's death may have affected most of America in some way but few people were touched as much as the Rev. Al Sharpton.

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"He knew that I came out of a one-parent home, and he became my father and I became like his son," Sharpton told the New York Daily News, speaking through tears.

The crowd at the National Action Network's House of Justice wept along with Sharpton while he spoke of the impact that the original Godfather of Soul had on his life and how he got news of his death, the newspaper said.

Sharpton said he knew Brown was in the hospital but after he got the call about the singer's death early Christmas Day, he went back to sleep, "because I wanted to tell myself I was dreaming."

Sharpton said he last talked to Brown a week ago when the singer told Sharpton he was proud of the work Sharpton was doing in New York.