Charles Bradley’s passing was announced through his social media on Saturday. The sixty-eight year old singer, fondly known to his fans as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul” had achieved a remarkable legacy in his autumn years, having faced difficulties for much of his life.
The 2012 documentary “Charles Bradley: Soul of America” joins Bradley at the age of sixty-two while he is still living between project housing and his mother’s house. Back then he was performing as the James Brown tribute act Black Velvet, until he was discovered by Daptone founders Gabriel Roth and Neal Sugarman who helped Bradley put out his debut album under his own name.
Bradley’s 2016 tour was cut short when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer last October, however in May this year he announced his return, and a new calendar of tour dates, having completed his treatment successfully. Sadly, it was found that the cancer had spread to his liver shortly afterwards.
Since the launch of his first album No Time for Dreaming, Bradley had performed numerous times in Ireland, including performances at Body & Soul and The Sugar Club in Dublin. His concerts were every bit as much about spreading love and positivity as they were about the music, and his ability to transmit these feelings left a deep impression on those who were lucky enough to be in the audience. A true modern legend, who in the space of six years has graced us with some of the best soul music of the century. Screaming Eagle, may your soul soar on.