Charles Bradley Dies After Cancer Battle (1948-2017)

Ruben Ruiz
September 24, 2017

A message posted this afternoon on his Facebook page read, "It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley". Having beaten stomach cancer in May, he had toured Canada and the United States in summer after receiving a clean bill of health.

Upon moving back to Brooklyn in 1996, Bradley began moonlighting as a James Brown impersonator under the name Black Velvet.

The singer was forced to cancel tour dates in September, revealing that while he had beaten the stomach cancer he was diagnosed with in 2016, the cancer had now spread to his liver.

While supporting his debut, he told the Chicago Tribune that his late-life success was due to his belief that "somewhere, somehow God will hear your cry, ". Soul of America, Poull Brien's documentary on Bradley, followed in 2012.

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.

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All throughout he was a tireless and energetic performer, still channeling James Brown, but now with his own music.

"Charles was somehow one of the meekest and strongest people I've ever known". That's why sometimes I like to go into the audience and just hug them, especially when I see someone hurting.

Bradley sometimes performed with label-mate Sharon Jones, another modern soul legend who also found success late in life and passed away due to cancer past year. "With God's will, I'll be back soon".

In leiu of flowers, his rep requests that donations be made to the following organizations: All-Stars Project and Music Unites. "So Much Soul", Roots drummer Questlove captioned a black-and-white photo of Bradley on Instagram.

Bradley, at a listening party for his 2016 record Changes, told this reporter - in a conversation often punctuated by Bradley holding up a finger, smiling and singing along to his new record - he'd helped construct the studio in which he'd later record.

Other reports by GizPress

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