Soul singer Charles Bradley has died from complications of cancer, his publicist confirmed Saturday morning. He was 68.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley,” his reps said in a statement. “Always a fighter, Charles battled cancer with everything he had. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the fall of 2016 and underwent treatment. 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.”
Born in Florida in 1948, Bradley’s music career didn’t begin in full until the mid-1990s, when he began to work as a James Brown impersonator named “Black Velvet.” Eventuallly, he was discovered by Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth. In 2011, at the age of 62, Bradley released his debut album No Time for Dreaming on Daptone to critical acclaim. His second album, Victim of Love, was released in 2013, and in April 2016, he dropped Changes, his third and final record. Charles Bradley: Soul of America, a 2012 documentary, detailed his early life and the months leading up to the release of No Time for Dreaming.
In October of last year, Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, forcing him to cancel his tour in support of Changes. He rescheduled some of those dates for a 2017 trek of North and South America, but that tour was cancelled earlier this month after it was announced that his cancer had returned and spread to liver.
Read our 2013 interview with Bradley here.