Acclaimed soul singer Charles Bradley has died after losing his battle with cancer.
The Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires leader passed away on Saturday (23Sep17) at the age of 68, leaving his friends and colleagues devastated.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley," the singer's representative said in a statement to Rolling Stone. "Always a fighter, Charles battled cancer with everything he had. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the fall of 2016 and underwent treatment. Bradley headed out on the road earlier this year after receiving a clean bill of health but the cancer recently returned, spreading to his liver."
Charles, who scrapped his upcoming tour earlier this month (Sep17) to treat the disease, has left a lasting impact on fans, loved ones and his peers in the industry.
Gabriel Roth, the co-founder of the late singer's label Daptone Records, has pledged to keep the memory of Bradley's positive spirit alive for years to come through his music.
"The world lost a ton of heart today," Roth grieved in a statement. "Charles was somehow one of the meekest and strongest people I've ever known. His pain was a cry for universal love and humanity. His soulful moans and screams will echo forever on records and in the ears and hearts of those who were fortunate enough to share time with him."
"I find some solace knowing that he will continue to inspire love and music in this world for generations to come," Gabriel added. "I told him as much a few days ago. He smiled and told me, 'I tried.' It was probably the simplest and most inspiring thing he ever told me. I think he wanted to hug each person on this planet individually. I mean that literally, and anyone that ever saw him knows that he honestly tried."
Charles became a huge hit on the music scene later into his life after releasing No Time for Dreaming, the first of three albums, in 2011. His other two records, 2013's Victim of Love and 2016's Changes, also received critical acclaim and helped cement him as one of the most beloved soul singers of the 21st century.