Charles Bradley, one of the premiere old-time soul/R&B artists of the modern day, passed away yesterday after first being diagnosed with cancer about a year ago. Bradley went through treatment and was cleared to head back on tour this year, but earlier this month he was forced to cancel the remainder of his upcoming dates.

At the time, Bradley made a statement to his fans, saying, “When I come back, I’ll come back strong, with God’s love. With God’s will, I’ll be back soon.” Unfortunately, the cancer soon spread from his stomach to his liver and became much more difficult to treat.

A Facebook post from his reps today announced his passing and stated, “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.” They thanked his fans for their support and encouraged them to donate to the All-Stars Project and Music Unites.

Bradley was not only the frontman of Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, but also worked with The Budos Band and Menahan Street Band. He started his career as a professional James Brown impersonator performing in clubs under the name Black Velvet before being discovered by Bosco Mann and signed to Daptone Records.

Bradley’s work, both solo and with Menahan Street Band, has been sampled by countless hip-hop artists including Jay-Z and Q-Tip. In 2012, the documentary Soul of America detailed his life from his Florida youth to his current solo career, following him to various festivals across the world.

Charles Bradley died in Brooklyn at 68 in the company of his family and friends.

Sources: Rolling Stone, BillboardFacebook

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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