Charles Bradley, one of the most prominent figures of the Daptone Records-led vintage soul renaissance, is battling stomach cancer.
The announcement came as part of the news that Bradley is canceling the reminder of his 2016 tour in support of his most recent album, Changes.
“In the past few months, I have had to cancel a number of shows due to illness, taking me away from my beautiful fans. My doctors recently discovered a cancerous tumor in my stomach. I’m getting the best medical care and we are all extremely optimistic. I will fight through this like I’ve fought through the many other obstacles in my life,” Bradley, 67, wrote in a statement on his Facebook page.
“My upcoming tour dates will be postponed so I can concentrate on healing. Thank you all for understanding. Music is how I share my love with the world, and the love that my fans have given back brings me so much joy. I look forward to seeing your gorgeous faces soon, and to continue to share my love through music.”
The Brooklyn-based singer, known as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul,” was discovered by Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth, who recruited him to record for the label in the early ’00s when Bradley was moonlighting as a James Brown impersonator. Bradley’s albums No Time for Dreaming, Victim of Love and Changes were released in 2011, 2013 and 2016, respectively, and a documentary film chronicling his extraordinary life and discovery, Soul of America, was released in 2011.
Bradley’s cancer is just the latest in a long series of events the singer has had to overcome. As chronicled in Soul of America, he was abandoned by his mother, was homeless for a time as a teen and nearly died after an allergic reaction to penicillin. To add to this, the functionally illiterate Bradley had to learn how to read and write to contribute lyrics to his music and as his career started to take off, his brother was murdered.
Another Daptone artist with a similarly powerful set of pipes and a hell of a life story, Sharon Jones, has also been recovering from cancer recently. Keep up with both of them at their respective Facebook pages.