Charlie Wilson (singer)

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Charlie Wilson
Charlie Wilson-photo-by-raymond-boyd.jpg
Charlie Wilson performs at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago (April 2010) (photo by Raymond Boyd)
Background information
Birth name Charles Kent Wilson
Also known as "Uncle Charlie"
Born (1953-01-29) January 29, 1953 (age 61)
Origin Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
Genres R&B, hip hop soul
Occupations Singer-songwriter, Producer
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, organ, drums
Years active 1972–present
Labels Interscope, Jive, P Music Group
Associated acts The Gap Band, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake, will.i.am, Keith Sweat, Babyface
Website charliewilsonmusic.com

Charles Kent "Charlie" Wilson (also known as Uncle Charlie, born January 29, 1953) is an American R&B singer-songwriter-producer and the former lead vocalist for The Gap Band. As a solo artist he has been nominated for seven Grammy awards and three NAACP Image Awards, received a 2009 Soul Train Icon Award, and was a recipient of a BMI Icon Award in 2005. In 2009, he was named Billboard magazine's No. 1 Adult R&B Artist, and his song "There Goes My Baby"[1] was named the No. 1 Urban Adult Song for 2009 in Billboard Magazine. On June 30, 2013, BET honored Wilson with a Lifetime Achievement Award that was presented to him by Justin Timberlake. The BET tribute performances included renditions of Wilson's songs performed by India Arie (There Goes My Baby), Jamie Foxx (Yearning for Your Love), and Stevie Wonder (Burn Rubber) but it was not until Wilson himself took to the stage at the request of Timberlake to perform his Grammy nominated song "You Are" and then transition into a medley of hit songs performing alongside Timberlake and surprise guests Snoop Dogg and Pharrell that Wilson stole the show during the youth oriented program.[2] The Charlie Wilson tribute helped BET achieve the highest ratings in years for the program and also earned the network the #1 primetime spot in the 18–49 demographic topping all its broadcast and cable competition for the night in both demographics and total viewers.[3]

Wilson is the national spokesman for the Prostate Cancer Foundation where there is a Creativity Award in his name which donates hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to researchers across the country for the development of creative science that conforms to PCF funding principles but is short-term and designed to allow development of otherwise unfunded ideas.

Early life[edit]

He was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At age 3, he was taught to sing in church which led the way for him to sing in his junior high school's choir, which was a precursor to his musical career with The Gap Band and later his solo career. He attended high school at Booker T. Washington.

Career[edit]

The Gap Band[edit]

From the start of his career, Charlie and his brothers, Robert and Ronnie, helped define and popularize an upbeat form of funk music that was infectious and lasting with their group The Gap Band. The group's songs like “Outstanding”, "Party Train", "Yearning for Your Love", "Burn Rubber on Me", “You Dropped a Bomb on Me”, and “Oops Upside Your Head” are among their immense catalog and some of the most sampled songs in music history. After 15 albums The Gap Band announced their retirement in 2010.

Solo[edit]

According to Wilson's website, rapper Snoop Dogg nicknamed him "Uncle Charlie".[4][5] with whom he is good friends. Snoop and his wife, Shante, renewed their vows in April 2008 at Wilson's 20 acre ranch outside of Los Angeles, CA. The event inspired the music video to Wilson's hit "There Goes My Baby",[1] which featured Snoop and his wife and was given to them as a gift symbolizing their relationship.

A few years later, Michael Paran persuaded Wilson to embark on a solo career. Paran, who is CEO of P Music Group, was responsible for rebranding the GAP Band in 1997 and repositioning them as one of the top R&B touring groups,[citation needed] has managed Wilson for the past 14 years[6]

Paran and Wilson independently released Wilson’s first solo album Bridging the Gap, which scored them Wilson’s first No. 1 Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary single, “Without You.”.[7] In 2004, Paran successfully negotiated a multi-album deal for Wilson with Jive Records. The first album from that deal, Charlie, Last Name Wilson, debuted in the fall of 2005 featuring production from various hit-making producers including R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake, will.i.am, the Underdogs, Kay Gee, and The Platinum Brothers. The album, which was certified gold by the R.I.A.A., produced the hit single, “Charlie, Last Name Wilson".[citation needed]

Since then Charlie has consistently topped the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary chart with singles from his follow up albums through P Music/Jive Records. His 2009 CD, Uncle Charlie, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and received two 2010 Grammy nominations: Best R&B Album and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for "There Goes My Baby".[citation needed]

In December 2010, Just Charlie, was released and spawned the hit single “You Are"[8] which held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary chart for 13 weeks as well as 15 weeks consecutively on the Mediabase chart. The song earned two 2012 Grammy nominations, Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song, giving Wilson, his wife Mahin, and their fellow songwriters Dennis Bettis, Carl M. Days, Jr., and Wirlie Morris (who co-produced the track with Wilson) their first nomination as songwriters together.[citation needed]

Wilson has been a vocalist and contributor/collaborator to dozens of songs in the hip hop, rap, and R&B communities. Wilson appeared on The Biggie Duets together with R. Kelly on the song "Mi Casa". He has worked with Snoop Dogg on numerous projects. Their first collaboration was Snoop's 1996 album Tha Doggfather, on which Wilson appeared on four songs: "Doggfather", "Snoop Bounce", "Groupie" (also featuring 213, and "Tha Dogg Pound"), and "Snoop's Upside Ya Head". Wilson also worked with 2Pac and The Dogg Pound on an unreleased song "Just Watching" (1996), as well as "Wanted Dead Or Alive", which featured him on the hook and 2Pac & Snoop rapping. He was also featured on the Grammy-nominated single "Beautiful" (together with Pharrell) from Snoop's 2002 album Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss. Additionally, Wilson appeared on "Signs" (with Justin Timberlake) and "Perfect", both songs from Snoop's 2004 album R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta) The Masterpiece. He was also featured on Snoop's 2008 abum Ego Trippin', on the songs "SD is Out" and "Can't Say Goodbye"; the latter was also performed live with Snoop and Wilson at 2008's American Idol Gives Back charity concert.[citation needed]

In 1998, Wilson performed on Mystikal's Ghetto Fabulous album.

In 2007, Wilson performed in two songs on UGK's Underground Kingz album: "Quit Hatin' the South" and "How Long Can It Last".

In 2011, chart-topping producer/artist, Kanye West included Wilson on his CD, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Wilson recorded over a dozen songs with Kanye and appeared on the following songs: "See Me Now", with Kanye West featuring Beyoncé; "All of the Lights", with Kanye West featuring Rihanna; "Lost in the World", "Runaway", and "Monster", with Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, and Rick Ross. In addition to these songs, Wilson appeared on five of the G.O.O.D. Friday Releases to promote the new CD including, "Lord, Lord, Lord" with Kanye West, featuring Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon; and "Good Friday" with Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, and Big Sean. He also appears on "Bound 2", the closer of Yeezus, West's 2013 album. Altogether Charlie Wilson's albums have sold over one million copies.[citation needed]

Support for American Servicemen and Women[edit]

In 2008, Wilson participated and performed on the ABC Television Special, America United: Supporting Our Troops, which was taped at Camp Pendleton, in California.[citation needed]

Wilson has made it his personal mission to support American troops, especially in the Middle East. He and his band have traveled to Kuwait and Iraq four times (2009, 2010, and twice in 2011), taking his critically acclaimed, high energy show to dozens of bases throughout both countries and giving American military members a “little taste of home." Wilson's November 2011 trip was in response to a special request by the U.S. Armed Forces for Wilson to return to the Middle East and perform at five bases in Kuwait for the thousands of troops stationed there, before they returned home from their withdrawal from Iraq under President Barack Obama's campaign promise.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson married Mahin Tat in 1995. They met that year, when she was his social worker during his time in a drug rehabilitation program.

Although reportedly clean since 1995, Wilson's cocaine and alcohol addictions had led to his becoming homeless and sleeping on the streets of Hollywood Boulevard between 1993 and 1995. In 2008, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated successfully with implants. He has since worked with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, encouraging black men to be tested for the disease. [10]

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Grammys[edit]

Wilson has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards.

  • 2014 Grammy Nomination - Best Gospel Song for "If I Believe"
  • 2012 Grammy Nomination - Best R&B Performance "You Are"
  • 2012 Grammy Nomination - Best R&B Song for "You Are"
  • 2010 Grammy Nomination - Best R&B Album for Uncle Charlie
  • 2010 Grammy Nomination - Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "There Goes My Baby"
  • 2003 Grammy Nomination - Best Rap/Song Collaboration (with Pharrell & Snoop Dogg) for "Beautiful"
  • 1997 Grammy Nomination - Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (with Luke, Mr. X, Melle Mel, Yo-Yo, Chaka Khan, Da Luniz, Shaquille O'Neal, Quincy Jones & Coolio) for "Stomp"

NAACP Image Awards[edit]

  • 2014 NAACP Image Award WINNER - Outstanding Album for Love, Charlie
  • 2014 NAACP Image Award Nomination - Outstanding Male Artist
  • 2010 NAACP Image Award Nomination - Outstanding Male Artist

Honors[edit]

  • November 5, 2013 - SoulTracks Reader's Choice Award - Major Label Album of the Year - Charlie Wilson 'Love, Charlie'[11]
  • June 30, 2013 - Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Charlie Wilson at the BET Awards
  • January 2013 - Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Charlie Wilson by the Trumpet Awards Foundation[12]
  • December 2011 - Billboard Magazine names Charlie Wilson the No. 2 Adult R&B Artist for 2011
  • December 2011 - Billboard Magazine names "You Are" the No. 2 Urban Adult Song for 2011
  • December 2011 - Mediabase names Charlie Wilson No. 1 Adult R&B Artist for 2011
  • December 2011 - Mediabase names "You Are" the No. 1 Urban Adult Song for 2011
  • February 2010 - NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Male Artist
  • December 2009 - Billboard Magazine names Charlie Wilson No. 1 Adult R&B Artist for 2009
  • December 2009 - Billboard Magazine names "There Goes My Baby" the No. 1 Urban Adult Song for 2009
  • November 2009 - Soul Train Icon Award presented to Charlie Wilson
  • September 2005 - BMI Icon Award presented to Charlie Wilson

Acknowledgements[edit]

  • January 29, 2013 - New York, NY - City of New York Proclamation honoring Charlie Wilson for his lifetime achievement in the music industry and his courageous and continued efforts to spread awareness about sobriety and prostate cancer by Inez E. Dickens, Council Member, 9th District, Manhattan
  • October 12, 2012 - Baton Rouge, LA - Charlie Wilson receives Key to the City by Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle
  • May 8, 2011 - The County of Allegheny, PA, declares "Charlie Wilson Day" by Councilman Bill Robinson
  • May 7, 2011 - Atlantic City, NJ - Charlie Wilson receives Key to the City by Mayor Lorenzo Langford
  • May 6, 2011 - The City of St. Louis, declares "Charlie Wilson Day" and includes a resolution in its minutes commemorating Charlie Wilson's success and accomplishments
  • May 14, 2010 - The City Council of the City of Pittsburgh declared May 14 “Charlie Wilson Day” for his continued commitment to educating men about the importance of yearly checkups and early screening for prostate cancer.
  • April 1, 2010 - The Cook County Board of Commissioners in Cook County, IL and Mayor Richard Daly declared April 1 "Charlie Wilson Day."
  • February 17–27, 2010 - United States Certificate of Appreciation from the Area Support Group – Kuwait, Southeast Asia Tour for Outstanding Support of the Troops
  • February 18, 2010 - Certificate of Appreciation from the Military Headquarters, Camp Buehring for Outstanding Support to the Troops in Kuwait
  • November 27, 2009 - City of Buffalo, Executive Chamber Proclamation names November 27, "Charlie Wilson Day"
  • November 27, 2009 - 100 Black Men Greater Buffalo Chapter Making A Difference Health Award presented to Charlie Wilson
  • November 2009 - The Soldiers of Fort Hood present a plaque to Charlie Wilson “For Outstanding Support during ‘Your Salute to the Troops.’”
  • July 31, 2009 - Proclamation from the City of Cincinnati to Charlie Wilson for “Pampering the Spirit Of Cancer Survivors and Caregivers.”
  • July 16, 2009 - Indiana Black Expo presented the Rev. Charles R. Williams Excellence Award to Charlie Wilson for his commitment to educating the African American Community about Prostate Cancer.
  • June 2009 - Tulsa, OK Key To The City presented to Charlie Wilson and the Gap Band
  • June 2009 - City of Los Angeles, State of California presents The Trailblazer Award to Charlie Wilson
  • April 6, 2009 - The Prostate Cancer Foundation created The Charlie Wilson Creativity Award which was presented to Adam Dicker, MD, PhD, Karen Knudsen, PhD – Thomas Jefferson University for their work on “Self-Seeding and Radiation Therapy: A New Strategy Against Metastatic Prostate Cancer - Preventing Circulating Prostate Cancer Cells from ‘Re-seeding’ in the Prostate May Change Behavior of Metastatic Cells.
  • February 20 – March 1, 2009 - United States Certificate of Appreciation from the Area Support Group – Kuwait, Southeast Asia Tour for Contribution to significantly enhance the morale of the military and civilian personnel assigned and attached to the Area Support Group – Kuwait
  • February 12, 2009 - Certificate of Appreciation presented to Charlie Wilson from the 3D Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division For Outstanding Support to the Soldiers of the 3DC “Greywolf” Heavy Brigade Combat Team 1st Cavalry Division
  • June 5, 2008 - American Society of Young Musicians presented the Trailblazer Award to Hall of Fame Inductee Charlie Wilson
  • June 25, 2005 - Museum of African American History present a plaque to Charlie Wilson and the Gap Band for their Tribute to Black Excellence
  • February 8, 2004 - 23rd AMIC Grammy Celebration Honors the Gap Band
  • May 11, 2002 - Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Acting Through Langston University presented to Charlie Wilson an Honorary Master of Fine Arts Degree
  • June 19, 2001 - Sound City Music Achievement Award (KRNB Radio 105.7) to Charlie Wilson, “In Recognition of Your Outstanding Contribution to the Music Industry”
  • June 18, 2001 - Distinguished Alumnus Award from Langston University, Langston, OK presented to Charles Kent Wilson
  • June 18, 2001 - Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame presented to The Gap Band the Award for the Arts & Humanities “In Honor Of Your 25th Year in the Entertainment and Music Industry.
  • February 19, 2001 - County of Los Angeles Commendation to Charlie Wilson. Congratulations as an honoree of The 20th Annual Pre-Grammy Party

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions RIAA certifications[13]
US[14] US R&B[15]
1992 You Turn My Life Around
  • Released: July 21, 1992
  • Label: Bon Ami Records / MCA
  • Format: CD, cassette
42
2000 Bridging the Gap
  • Released: November 14, 2000
  • Label: Major Hits Records/ UMVD
  • Format: CD, cassette
152 30
2005 Charlie, Last Name Wilson
  • Released: August 23, 2005
  • Label: P Music / Jive / Zomba
  • Format: CD, digital download
10 3 Gold
2009 Uncle Charlie
  • Released: February 17, 2009
  • Label: P Music / Jive / Zomba
  • Format: CD, digital download
2 1
2010 Just Charlie
  • Released: December 7, 2010
  • Label: P Music / Jive / Sony
  • Format: CD, digital download
19 6
2013 Love, Charlie
  • Released: January 29, 2013
  • Label: P Music / RCA / Sony
  • Format: CD, digital download
4 1

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart Positions Album
Urban AC US R&B/Hip-Hop[16] US Hot 100[16]
1992 "You Turn My Life Around" - 78 - You Turn My Life Around
"Sprung on Me" - 23 -
2000 "Without You" 1 26 - Bridging the Gap
"Big Pimpin'" (featuring Nate Dogg) - - -
2005 "Charlie, Last Name Wilson" 1 11 67 Charlie, Last Name Wilson
"Magic" 1 27 -
2008 "Supa Sexy" (featuring T-Pain & Jamie Foxx) 10 53[17] - Uncle Charlie
2009 "There Goes My Baby " 1 15 98
"Can't Live Without You"[18] 1 19 -
2010 "You Are" 1 13 103 Just Charlie
2011 "I Wanna Be Your Man" (featuring Fantasia) 23 74 -
"Life of the Party" 1 20 120
2012 "My Love Is All I Have" 1 36 68 Love, Charlie
2013 "Turn Off The Lights" 10 32 -
"I Still Have You" 14 49 -

Featured collaborations[edit]

Year Song Artist Album Label
2013 "Bound 2" Kanye West Yeezus Def Jam
2011 "More Than You'll Ever Know" Boyz II Men ft. Charlie Wilson Twenty MSM
2011 "That's My Bitch" Kanye West & Jay-Z Watch the Throne Def Jam
2011 "Beautiful Dancer" New Boyz ft. Charlie Wilson Too Cool To Care Warner
2010 "See Me Now" Kanye West ft. Beyoncé, Charlie Wilson and Big Sean My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Def Jam
2010 "All of the Lights" Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Def Jam
2010 "Lost in the World" Kanye West ft. Bon Iver My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Def Jam
2010 "Runaway" Kanye West ft. Pusha T My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Def Jam
2010 "Monster" Kanye West ft. Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Bon Iver My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Def Jam
2010 "Lord, Lord, Lord" Kanye West ft. Charlie Wilson, Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon G.O.O.D. Friday Release Def Jam
2010 "Good Friday" Kanye West ft. Charlie Wilson, Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean G.O.O.D. Friday Release Def Jam
2009 "Download" Lil' Kim ft. Charlie Wilson and T-Pain Hard Core 2: All Hail the Queen UMG
2008 "Snoop Dogg is Out" Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie Wilson Ego Trippin Geffen
2008 "Can't Say Goodbye" Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie Wilson Ego Trippin Geffen
2007 "How Long Can it Last" U.G.K. ft. Charlie Wilson Underground Kings Jive
2007 "Quit Hatin' the South" U.G.K. ft. Charlie Wilson Underground Kings Jive
2007 "Quit Hatin' the South" U.G.K. ft. Charlie Wilson Underground Kings Jive
2006 "That Girl" Pharrell ft. Charlie Wilson In My Mind Interscope
2005 "Mi Casa" The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Charlie Wilson Duets: The Final Chapter Bad Boy
2005 "Crack Music" Kanye West Late Registration Rock-A-Fella
2004 "Perfect" Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie Wilson Rhythm and Gangsta Geffen
2004 "Signs" Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie Wilson and Justin Timberlake R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece Geffen
2002 "You Got What I Want" Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie Wilson Paid Tha Cost To Be Tha Boss Priority
2002 "Beautiful" Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell and Uncle Charlie Wilson Paid Tha Cost to Be Tha Boss Priority
2002 "One Way Street" Avant and Charlie Wilson Ecstasy MCA
1999 "Pretty Lady" Mint Condition ft. Charlie Wilson Life's Aquarium Elektra
1998 "Whatcha Wanna Do" Mia X ft. Charlie Wilson Mama Drama No Limit
1998 "Ghetto Fabulous" Mystikal ft. Charlie Wilson Ghetto Fabulous Jive
1998 "Show Me Love" Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie Wilson Da Game Is To Be Sold Priority
1997 "Off the Hook" Soundtrack Gridlock'd Interscope
1996 "Snoop Bounce" Snoop Dogg Tha Doggfather Death Row
1996 "Snoop's Upside Your Head" Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie Wilson Tha Doggfather Death Row
1996 "Up Jump Tha Boogie" Snoop Dogg Tha Doggfather Death Row
1996 "Groupie" Snoop Dogg ft. 213, Tha Dogg Pound and Charlie Wilson Tha Doggfather Death Row
1994 "Stuff Like That" Quincy Jones Q's Jook Joint Warner
1994 "Heaven's Girl" Quincy Jones, Charlie Wilson, R. Kelly, Ron Isley, Aaron Hall Q's Jook Joint Warner
1996 "Snoop Bounce" Snoop Dogg Tha Doggfather Death Row
1992 "Its Gonna Be Alright" Charlie Wilson and Aaron Hall Boomerang Soundtrack Arista
1985 "Computer Love" Zapp and Roger ft. Charlie Wilson The New Zapp IV Warner

Influence[edit]

Charlie Wilson's vocal style and performance continue to influence some of today’s most popular artists, including Snoop Dogg, R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake, and Kanye West.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]