Soul singer Charles Bradley has died after being diagnosed with stomach cancer last year. Earlier this month, he was forced to cancel tour dates for treatment after learning that the cancer had spread to his liver. He was 68.
Bradley was born in 1948 in Gainesville, Florida, where he was raised by his grandmother. At the age of eight, he moved to Brooklyn with his mother. Six years later, he ran away from home to escape poor living conditions, living on the streets and sleeping in subway cars. For the next few decades, he lived nomadically, working odd jobs in Maine, upstate New York, Alaska, Seattle, and Canada before settling in the Bay Area and later moving back to Brooklyn in 1996, where he was eventually discovered working as a James Brown impersonator by Daptone Records cofounder Gabriel Roth.
Bradley’s debut album, Time For Dreaming, came out in 2011, and a year later, his life was profiled in the documentary film Soul Of America, which debuted at SXSW. Bradley’s most recent LP, Changes, was released just last year. A representative for the singer asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the All-Stars Project and Music Unites.