Legendary singer Charlie Wilson stopped by Majic 102.1 studios to talk about his new album, his battle with prostate cancer and why it’s so important for men to get tested – especially since African American men develop the disease 60% more often than white men…and are twice as likely to die from it than other groups.
“I was diagnosed in 2008 but I am now cancer-free…once I received a national platform I wanted to speak in the communities about having this conversation in your home.”
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When asked about how he maintains his longevity in the music industry, Charlie details how it contributes from his passion to keep releasing records, staying healthy and give fans a great show!
“My band is really young so everybody has the energy level that I require. We level off at the top so if you don’t have the energy, you can’t be in my band.”
“People really don’t know how I laid in the streets,” Wilson said. “From that to this, I cried when they told me I had a Grammy nomination. It still doesn’t seem real to me, because so many doors have been shut on me so many times. … Everything was derailed.”
Wilson says the Gap Band hit a roadblock in 1986 when they asked to split their publishing deal with their manager; Wilson claims the manager dropped them and then had them blackballed in the industry, threatening anyone who tried to sign them since the group was still under contract with him.
“I couldn’t bounce back from that,” he said. “Everywhere we went, he ran interference. He threatened people. It was a sad situation. Drugs came a lot more. My brothers and I weren’t getting along that well.”
Slow cash flow and a cocaine and alcohol addiction drove Wilson to become homeless, as he slept in the alleys of Los Angeles’ famed Hollywood Boulevard between 1993 and 1995.
But Wilson says that it was only by the God’s grace and mercy that he is here now to tell the story. For God sending him his wife in the form of a social worker to helping him past his prostate cancer, “God is a healer,” Charlie states.