Published: Sat, September 23, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Charles Bradley, Beloved Soul Singer, Dead at 68

Charles Bradley, Beloved Soul Singer, Dead at 68

CHARLES Bradley has died age 68 following a long battle with cancer.

Charles Bradley has passed away, an announcement on his various social media channels confirmed.

Like his late label mate Sharon Jones - who died a year ago after a protracted battle with cancer - Florida-born, Brooklyn-reared Bradley was an old-school journeyman R&B performer who was launched to fame via a series of independent releases on Brooklyn's Daptone Records. In 2016, Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which spread to his liver.

'Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this hard time'. Mr. Bradley was truly grateful for all the love he's received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on.

Like fellow Daptones singer Sharon Jones, who also succumbed to cancer, Bradley achieved stardom late in his life.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, in 1948, Bradley moved to Brooklyn, New York, at age 8.

It wasn't until Bradley's sister took him to James Brown's landmark performance at the Apollo Theater that he wanted to pursue a singing career. Calling himself "Black Velvet", he developed a James Brown impersonation act that he called "Black Velvet", which eventually got the attention of Daptones founder Gabriel Roth.

"I'm gonna say it's all right to dream, but work at it - make it come to reality", Bradley said after releasing his debut studio album, No Time for Dreaming, in 2011.

Two more beloved albums followed, Victim of Love (2013) and Changes.

Bradley told Rolling Stone previous year, "Right now, I don't see a stopping point 'cause I don't see no place where I can stop at and rest in peace".

Earlier this month, he told fans after cancelling his tour: "I love all of you out there that made my dreams come true". "I find some solace knowing that he will continue to inspire love and music in this world for generations to come".

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