Charles Bradley was as unlikely a star as there ever was, coming into fame in his 60s thanks to his soulful voice and his exuberant live performances, and now, after a battle with cancer Bradley has passed away at the age of 68.
Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2016 but underwent treatment and was eventually given a clean bill of health before her returned to the stage. Things took a turn for the worst recently when the cancer returned and spread to his liver. According to a statement, Bradley passed in Brooklyn “surrounded by family and friends including members of the bands he worked closely with: Menahan Street Band, His Extraordinaires, Budos Band and the Jimmy Hill Allstarz–his band from his time performing as Black Velvet.”
Bradley’s voice and impassioned performances drew comparisons to James Brown, and coincidentally it was seeing Brown perform at the Apollo Theater as a teen that inspired Bradley to get into music. It wasn’t until 2011, at the age of 62 that Bradley would release his first album No Time For Dreaming, and he eventually followed that up with two more albums, and received wide critical acclaim.