Soul singer Charles Bradley, a powerful voice of joy, dies at 68

The soul singer Charles Bradley, one of the most joyful and powerful contemporary vocalists in his genre, has died at 68.

Representatives for the singer said in a statement that Bradley died Saturday of complications from stomach cancer, which had been in remission. Bradley toured up through the last year of his life.

Bradley, like his Daptone label mate, the late Sharon Jones, was a later-in-life soul music success story. He was discovered while working as a James Brown impersonator, and he released his debut album, “No Time For Dreaming,” in 2011.

“The Screaming Eagle of Soul” quickly turned ears among vintage R&B enthusiasts and younger audiences at festivals such as L.A.’s FYF Fest, where Bradley played in 2016 to raucous crowds.

His 2016 album “Changes” was widely praised and led to numerous mainstream television appearances, including a performance on “CBS This Morning: Saturday” that earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding on-camera musical performance in a daytime program.

Born in Gainesville, Fla., Bradley moved to Brooklyn as a child and lived all over the U.S. before returning to New York for the last 20 years of his life.

He closely collaborated with a number of acts and backing bands in his career, including His Extraordinaires, Menahan Street Band, the Budos Band and the Jimmy Hill Allstarz Band.

Musicians around the music world lamented his passing.

The Daptone band Antibalas tweeted “RIP to our dear brother Charles Bradley. Your heart was too big for this planet. See you on the other side. We love you.”

Singer-songwriter Neko Case wrote, over a picture of Bradley and Sharon Jones, that “I’ve had the honor of being completely and utterly blown off stage by both of these sweethearts.”

Representatives for the singer said, “Mr. Bradley was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on.”

august.brown@latimes.com

Twitter: @augustbrown

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