Daptones Records have lost another great. We've all lost another great. Following all too soon after the passing of modern soul legend Sharon Jones, the one and only Charles Bradley has died, aged just 68.
Sadly the cancer he was diagnosed with in 2016 has taken its toll on a man whose voice carried the weight of power and soul that only a handful have ever possessed. A humble man by nature, he was always grateful to the fans who gave him the opportunity to do what he loved; he was even able to continue touring right up until last month.
"Right now, I don't see a stopping point 'cause I don't see no place where I can stop at and rest in peace," he told Rolling Stone last year. "But I know that from doing shows for the public, the love when I go out into the audience and hug 'em and the things that they say to me personally … [pauses] Wow. It's not only me onstage doing it. I open their hearts up and they feel the love of my heart and when I go out there and really respond to 'em and talk to 'em, they tell me some things."
Having only found the stardom he deserved at the age of 62, his story is one of poverty, pain, loss and struggle - things that ultimately infused his music with the screaming soul power audiences fell in love with. On a personal level, his music has been a staple of the Funk From The Trunk sound ever since he made his rise to prominence, and we had the good fortune to meet and support him several times over the years. Thus it's with a truly heavy heart I write of his passing. A great man, a one-in-a-million voice and the provider of so much incredible soul music. Mr Bradley, we salute you. Rest in Power, sir.
I've attempted to pay further tribute to the Screaming Eagle of Soul by spending the day remixing one of my favourite Charles Bradley tracks, which is available below.
I thoroughly recommend you also dig in to his three excellent studio albums and full discography, available here