It may have taken a long time for Charles Bradley’s career to take off, but it soared when he did. He was known as the “Screaming Eagle of Soul” for his impassioned performances.
Charles was born in 1948, and he worked as a part-time musician for most of his life. In the 1990s, he started working full-time as a James Brown impersonator.
“It during these years of his life when Bradley’s discovery began in earnest — after Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth introduced Bradley to producer Tom Brenneck,” writes People.
After connecting with Brenneck, Bradley’s career took on the 2000s. In 2011, he released his first album, No Time for Dreaming.
“I’m gonna say it’s all right to dream, but work at it — make it come to reality,” said Bradley. “It took 62 years for somebody to find me, but I thank God. Some people never get found.”
His career continued to improve. In 2012, Bradley’s life was chronicled in a documentary called Charles Bradley: Soul of America.
He also released two other albums: Victim of Love in 2013 and Changes in 2016. Music from those albums appeared on a variety of TV shows, including Big Little Lies, Vampire Diaries, Marvel’s Luke Cage, and Suits.
On Saturday, September 23rd, a statement ran on his Facebook to announce his death.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley. 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.”
The statement added,“Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
In Fall 2016, Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He was able to go on tour in early 2017, but then cancer recently returned and spread to his liver, according to a press release announcing the singer’s death.
His representatives also announced his death on his Twitter page.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
The post prompted widespread mourning of his loss. Many members of the music community and fans tweeted their respects to the soul singer.
It would have been just what Bradley wanted. In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, he said that he loved to have his fans feel the love of his heart and to feel their love in return.
“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 … [pauses] Wow. It’s not only me onstage doing it. I open their hearts up and they feel the love of my heart and when I go out there and really respond to ’em and talk to ’em, they tell me some things,” he said.
Pray for Bradley’s friends and family as they deal with his loss.
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