Legendary soul singer Charles Bradley has passed away aged 68

After a lengthly battle with cancer, renowned soul singer Charles Bradley has passed away. Surrounded by family and friends, from all accounts he died peacefully.

His performance style was long compared to that of James Brown and his extensive list of bands and collaborators have solidified Bradley as one of the most iconic soul artists of the time.  Still an active performer, Bradley was forced to cancel 37 shows scheduled up until the end of the year after doctors confirmed the cancer had spread.

Charles Bradley

Amongst those present when Charles Bradley died were members of Menahan Street Band, His Extraordinaires, Budos Band and the Jimmy Hill Allstarz.

Bradley spent many years as a chef before being picked up by Gabriel Roth of Deftone Records, and went on to become known as ‘the screaming eagle of soul’.

With humble beginnings as a James Brown impersonator known as ‘Black Velvet’, Bradley endured stints of homelessness and near-death moments from poorly prescribed medication. His life truly was that of a Hollywood script.

This article originally appeared here.