Written by Natalie Fisher
Soul singer and entertainer, Charles Bradley has sadly passed away from cancer this weekend, aged 68. The singer, who found fame later on in his life, was a former James Brown impersonator and released his first album in 2011 aged 62.
Nicknamed the “screaming eagle of soul” due to his heartrending performances, Bradley held a deep passion for music throughout his life. Despite not releasing his own music till later on in his life, No Time For Dreaming, his debut album screams pain, weariness and joy that truly captivates the listener.
Bradley released two further albums Victim of Love (2013) and Changes (2016), receiving critical acclaim and establishing himself as an incredible soul artist. One may strike comparison with the greats of soul such as Ray Charles & James Brown and whilst Bradley’s career wasn’t as long, it certainly still had a huge impact. Indeed, Charles Bradley can be placed up there with the legends of soul, with his sheer determination to succeed making him one of music’s most inspiring figures.
“I been struggling for over 42 years trying to make it in the industry,” he said in Soul of America. “And at the age of 62, I’m just beginning to find my way through. I never made enough money to support myself in music, but I’m hoping that this album will make a turning point for me … I ask myself why it took so long, but you can’t question God when he want to do things.”
He will surely be missed with tributes pouring in from artists around the world. Mark Ronson summed up the feeling of many who had listened to and admired Bradley’s work.
Listen to Charles Bradley’s highly powerful Why Is It So Hard here:
Photo Credit: Lima Photo