Charles Bradley

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About Charles Bradley

Born in 1948 in Gainesville, Florida, Charles Bradley saw James Brown perform at the Apollo Theater in 1962, which planted the seed for his Brown tribute act, Black Velvet. Decades later, he caught the eyes and ears of Daptone capo Gabriel Roth, who brought him to the label, where he became the yin to Sharon Jones’ yang. In 2011 Bradley initiated the first of four gritty albums for the imprint that expanded the Brown template with a wrenching, hard soul intensity that saw him translate the Black Sabbath dirge “Changes” into a modern classic of inner reflection. The 2012 documentary Soul of America­ traced Bradley’s path from itinerant worker impersonating the Godfather of Soul as a passionate side hustle into burgeoning R&B star. He died of stomach cancer in 2017 at the age of 68.

Gainesville, FL, United States
5 November 1948

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