Singer Charlie Wilson talks about his journey from being homeless to being back on top
By G. Brown
Legendary R&B singer Charlie Wilson is about to do it again. His new album Forever Charlie was just released and already receiving good press. The New York Times says, “Mr. Wilson keeps it light. What a relief! A great singer who knows it’s not all about him.” Wilson would be the first to tell you, he knows it’s not about him..
In a recent interview, Wilson shared the roller-coaster that has been his life for the last few years. At 62-years-old, Wilson has some of the biggest names in music like Kanye, Pharrell, Snoop calling him to record. Wilson says he’s been so busy the last couple of years it’s hard to catch him in one spot for more than eight hours. If that sounds like a brag, it’s not. It’s gratitude.
He’s been here before, the fame, hit records, fortune. As the front man for the Gap Band, Wilson had it all until 1986, when a bad deal with a shady manager left them broke and blackballed from the music industry. Wilson says, “I couldn’t bounce back from that. Everywhere we went, he ran interference. He threatened people. It was a sad situation.” The only thing flowing in Wilson’s life was drugs and alcohol. Wilson ended up homeless and sleeping in the alleys of Hollywood Boulevard for two years. “It was horrifying… I tried my best to hide.”
Wilson says he cried, prayed and most importantly believed, “God is in the blessing business. God already gave me the voice.”
So now you see why Uncle Charlie believes. At his worst, Wilson was down to 130 pounds, addicted to drugs and homeless. He believes even in all that, God protected him and his voice and he knew it was for a reason.