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James Brown returned to center stage for the first time since he went to prison two years ago, entertaining 4,000 soldiers whose holiday leaves were canceled because of the Persian Gulf crisis.

Trainees in crew cuts jumped to their feet on Christmas Day when the soul singer came out singing his standard, "I Got You (I Feel Good)."

Brown sang "God Bless America" to close the show at Fort Jackson, which was his first performance since going to prison.

Brown is serving a six-year sentence for aggravated assault, failure to stop for police and weapons violations stemming from a two-state high-speed chase.

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