R&B Legend Charlie Wilson Fills the Gaps in His Life’s Winding Road

Posted by: Audiegrl

Charlie Wilson

Full circle: Charlie Wilson shows the alley he slept in as a homeless person after his Gap Band days in Hollywood. Wilson has renewed his life and career.

USA Today“This building wasn’t here,” Charlie Wilson says, waving at a high-rise condo under construction along busy La Brea Avenue. “It was a parking lot for U-Hauls. I slept under them when it rained. So did a lot of other crackheads.”

He brushes a tear from his cheek. Revisiting the haunts of his darkest days is distressing for the R&B legend, who led the Gap Band to international stardom in the ’80s and rebounded to solo glory in recent years. In between lies a desperate stretch of addiction and homelessness that took the singer from a posh Hollywood Hills manse to seedy alleys.

Strolling a narrow road behind a pawn shop, he points to the grassy spot he frequently staked out while living on the streets from 1993 to 1995.

“I slept in that deep corner there,” he says. “When I come through this area now, I get all tensed up. A lot of people who sink that far into depression, drugs and street life don’t come back. A lot of people I knew then are dead.”

Robert, Charlie, and Ronnie in 1982

Robert, Charlie, and Ronnie in 1982

Wilson, who turns 57 on Friday, did more than survive. He just had the most successful year of his 43-year career. The singer is up for two Grammys: R&B album for fourth solo effort Uncle Charlie and R&B vocal for hit single There Goes My Baby, which spent 10 weeks atop Billboard’s adult R&B chart. The album entered the R&B chart at No. 1 and the pop chart at No. 2, a career peak. He’s also nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Nobody is more astonished by this resurrection than Wilson, who returns to the mileposts of his downfall with humility and gratitude. He starts a walking tour at the former location of the Total Experience studio, where the Gap Band, his trio with brothers Robert and Ronnie, recorded from the mid-’70s to the late ’80s, generating a string of platinum albums and such hits as You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Party Train, Outstanding, Burn Rubber on Me and Shake.
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Read the full story here

Charlie Wilson talks to USA Today about his past struggles with drugs, his time spent living on the streets of L.A., and his comeback as a Grammy nominated singer.

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George Lopez Interviews Charlie Wilson on Lopez Tonight

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Charlie Wilson Performs His Grammy Nominated Song, “There Goes My Baby” on Lopez Tonight

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7 Comments

Filed under Cancer, Culture, Entertainment, George Lopez, Health, Hollywood, Hunger, Lopez Tonight, Media and Entertainment, Music, News, Pop Culture, Pundits (comics), R & B, TBS, Technology, TV Shows, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

7 responses to “R&B Legend Charlie Wilson Fills the Gaps in His Life’s Winding Road

  1. I saw Charlie performing a few years ago, and he was off the hook. What an amazing story… 🙂

    This is my favorite Gap Band cut, “Outstanding”

  2. Yearning For Your Love is one of my all time favorite Gap Band songs. Takes me back to when I was in high school and went to my first Gap Band concert.

    Charlie was amazing back them, and after seeing him just a few years back, he’s still got it!

  3. ogenec

    I love Uncle Charlie. GAP Band and their peers could sing sweet love songs like the ones you guys mentioned, but they could also funk it up. My favorite Gap band tune is Oops Upside Your Head. Guaranteed to rock the party even now. Plus, I love his new stuff too. There Goes My Baby is off the meter.

  4. ogenec

    I love Uncle Charlie!

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention R&B Legend Charlie Wilson Fills the Gaps in His Life’s Winding Road « 44-D -- Topsy.com

  6. Pingback: R&B Legend Charlie Wilsons Comeback from Homelessness/Cancer | Trish Mcevoy Brush

  7. I Love Charlie Wilson with all my heart. His shows are off the hook. I was at his latest show in DC and lost my voice. Bought my white charlie wilson hat. Wear your hat to show love him at his shows. I Love love him.

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