A 73-year-old Georgia woman claims in court papers that she married James Brown in 1953 and they never divorced.

Attorney David Bell said Velma Warren Brown claims the late soul singer never served her with divorce papers.

Bell said his client has filed court papers in South Carolina saying the couple had three children and lived together for 17 years. He also said they saw each other in December, just weeks before Brown died in a Georgia hospital. He was 73.

One of Brown's former backup singers, Tomi Rae Hynie, has claimed she is Brown's fourth wife, and is involved in a dispute over singer's estate.