Soul singer Charles Bradley has died at the age of 68 following a battle with cancer, but not before enjoying some overdue success.
His representative shared the news of his death on Twitter Saturday afternoon, writing, “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.”
Nicknamed the “Screaming Eagle of Soul” for his powerful, raspy style that was reminiscent of his musical idol James Brown, he was a late bloomer releasing his debut album, No Time for Dreaming, in 2011.
Recording on the Daptone label, Bradley was a fiery live performer. He followed up his first album with Victim of Love in 2013. His third album, Changes, was released last year.
Among his TV appearances was a stop last year on CBS This Morning: Saturday, which earned him an Emmy nomination.
Born in Gainesville, Florida, Bradley found himself living in New York at age 8. He left home as a teenager and lived as an itinerant until he settled in Brooklyn 20 years ago.
Bradley idolized Brown, working as a Brown impersonator known as Black Velvet before he was discovered by Gabriel Roth, a Daptone co-founder. He later became known for closing shows under his own name with hugs for his audiences.
Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the fall of 2016 and underwent treatment, according to a statement from his publicist Shazila Mohammed.
He headed out to tour earlier this year after receiving a clean bill of health, but his cancer returned recently, spreading to his liver, the statement said
.“The world lost a ton of heart today,” Roth said in the statement. “Charles was somehow one of the meekest and strongest people I’ve ever known. His pain was a cry for universal love and humanity. His soulful moans and screams will echo forever on records and in the ears and hearts of those who were fortunate enough to share time with him.”
Roth said he told Bradley recently there’s solace to be found for fans knowing Bradley “will continue to…