Soul star Charles Bradley dies aged 68 after battle with cancer

Kelvin Reese
September 24, 2017

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley", his publicist said in a statement. "Bradley headed out on the road earlier this year after receiving a clean bill of health but the cancer recently returned, spreading to his liver". Bradley then released two more albums, 2013's Victim of Love and 2016's Changes. In his 40s, he moved back to Brooklyn and began performing as James Brown impersonator under the name Black Velvet before being scouted by Gabriel Roth, a Daptone co-founder and recording engineer, though he continued to perform under the pseudonym while developing a career under his given name. In 2016, Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which spread to his liver. But Bradley's journey into the music business was rather unique.

Bradley was born in Gainesville, Florida, in 1948 and was raised by his grandmother until the age of 8, when his mother brought him to Brooklyn, New York. Soul of America, Poull Brien's documentary on Bradley, followed in 2012. People come to the front of the stage, and they whisper in my ear and tell me about their personal lives.

But I know that from doing shows for the public, the love when I go out into the audience and hug 'em and the things that they say to me personally ...

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American funk singer Charles Bradley has passed away at the age of 68.

Earlier in September, when announcing the tour's cancellation, a message attributed to Bradley on his social media accounts said: "I love all of you out there that made my dreams come true". Mr. Bradley toured for a while as the opening act for the late Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, delivering his unique brand of soul, with lyrics that touched the heart and soul. "With God's will, I'll be back soon".

According to Bradley's rep, the singer died surrounded by family and friends, including members of bands he worked closely with throughout his career. Following that are other videos by him.

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