Legendary soul singer Charles Bradley has died at the age of 68 following a yearlong battle with cancer.
The tragic news comes about a year after the energetic performer, who was often compared to James Brown, announced he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Though he eventually returned to the stage following several treatments, Bradley was forced to cancel his remaining fall 2017 dates after learning the cancer had spread to his liver.
“I love all of you out there that made my dreams come true,” he said in a statement released earlier this month. “When I come back, I’ll come back strong, with God’s love. With God’s will, I’ll be back soon.” He’ll be taking time off for recovery and treatment.”
Bradley began his music career in the late 1970s, but remained under the radar until he was in his 60s. According to Rolling Stone, he finally caught his big break when Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth saw his Brown impersonation and connected him with producer Tom Brenneck. Shortly after, Bradley would release his debut studio album No Time for Dreaming (2011), which was followed by Victim of Love (2013) and Changes (2016). The latter project received wide critical acclaim, with most of the praise going toward the title track, which was a soulful cover of the Back Sabbath ballad.
Following the news of Bradley’s death, many artists, industry figures, and fans went to social media to pay their respects. His death comes less than a year after the passing of another Daptone soul legend, Sharon Jones.