Singer Charles Bradley dies at 68

Charles Bradley Dies After Cancer Battle (1948-2017)

Charles Bradley, RIP

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.

Charles Bradley, the "Screaming Eagle of Soul", whose late-blossoming career was built on fiery performances that evoked his idol, James Brown, died in Brooklyn on Saturday, Sept. 23, according to a statement by his publicist. "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", it reads.

The singer was diagnosed with stomach cancer back in 2016 which he overcame after surgery, but later revealed how the cancer had spread to his liver. "I love all of you out there that made my dreams come true", he said at the time. After overcoming various personal setbacks (such as nearly dying due to an allergic reaction to penicillin and the murder of his brother), while performing as Black Velvet he was discovered by Gabriel Roth, the co-founder of soon to be iconic Brooklyn soul label Daptone Records, who partnered him with producer (and future Menahan Sreet Band member) Tom Brenneck to record some initial singles released between 2002 and 2010, culminating in 2011's debut album, No Time for Dreaming, released when Bradley was 62. With 37 dates scheduled through the end of the year, Bradley's spokesperson said the singer felt run down during recent shows.

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'When I come back, I'll come back strong, with God's love.

Born in Gainesville, Fla., in 1948, Bradley moved throughout his life, spending time in New York, Maine, Alaska and the Bay Area, before returning to Brooklyn for the last two decades, where the world finally took notice of his musical talent at the age of 62, when he released his critically acclaimed debut album, 2011's No Time For Dreaming. He earned a scarce living as a cook before label Daptone Records discovered him in a small club in NY city. I think he wanted to hug each person on this planet individually. Bradley began working with Tom Brenneck, and would ask the band to perform while he would make up lyrics. "With God's will, I'll be back soon".

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