News

Chuck Brown’s Family: Nats’ Home-Run Music Is "Their Prerogative"

The "Bustin' Loose" singer's family says it's up to the team, but they appreciate the support from fans.
Photograph by Flickr user mrgarethm.

The news yesterday that the Washington Nationals have swapped out Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose” for a hit single by in-the-moment Jessie J and Ariana Grande as their home-run celebration song was not greeted very warmly by many of the team’s fans. But a statement from Brown’s family is as cool as the late Godfather of Go-Go himself.

“The Brown family has always been appreciative of the inclusion of the song and the respect it paid to Chuck Brown and the music of DC and Chuck was honored to perform at RFK during the seventh-inning stretch of the first ever Nationals home game,” reads the statement, sent by Brown’s manager, Tom Goldfogle. “If the Nationals feel another direction is appropriate, that is their prerogative. Chuck would have supported either way, because it was DC.”

After Washingtonian reported yesterday that the Nationals had switched from “Bustin’ Loose” to “Bang Bang,” the team told the Washington Post that the musical shuffle was made at the behest of fans saying “they would like to hear a broader genre of songs incorporated into our game day experience.”

The Nationals, judging by the players’ walk-up music, appear to have a fairly robust musical palate that includes hip-hop, alternative rock, Top 40 hits, country, dad rock, reggaeton, and the theme song to at least one HBO series. While the team told the Post that Brown “remains part of our rotation—including home run celebrations,” it hasn’t played over the Nationals Park public-announcement after the seven home runs the team has hit there so far this season.

While Brown’s family is conciliatory toward the Nationals, Goldfogle also says they were unaware that “Bustin’ Loose” had been dropped from home-run celebrations. Some fans, after venting on social media, created a petition to return Brown’s 1979 hit to its former cue. It has 249 signatories as of this writing.

Full statement from Brown’s family:

They did not make us aware. The Brown family has always been appreciative of the inclusion of the song and the respect it paid to Chuck Brown and the music of DC and Chuck was honored to perform at RFK during the 7th inning stretch of the first ever Nationals home game. If the Nationals feel another direction is appropriate, that is their prerogative. Chuck would have supported either way, because it was DC. That being said, they deeply appreciate the display of support in favor of the song over the past 24 hours.

Get Washingtonian's Daily DC Updates (Not Just Another Political News Roundup)

Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.