The long-awaited New York Times bestselling memoir of seven-time Grammy-nominated artist Charlie Wilson, the iconic R&B and Funk singer-songwriter-producer and former lead singer of The Gap Band—interwoven with his recollections of collaborating with fellow artists such as Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, and Snoop Dogg.
Recognized the world over for his distinct voice and timeless hits spanning a career of nearly half a century, Charlie Wilson is one of the most celebrated musicians of his generation. So it took friends and family by surprise when he checked into rehab and revealed that he had been not only homeless, but also helpless.
Here is the riveting story of how love and faith carried him through not only his addiction, but also prostate cancer. Here, too, is the story of his work in the music business, including a career resurgence that saw collaborations with some of the most sought-after artists of today, including Pharrell and Justin Timberlake.
Now over twenty years sober, Wilson recounts a life filled with vertiginous highs and heartbreaking lows. His is a story of triumph over adversity, courage in the face of extreme hardship, and love when all else is lost. It is a tale of the last sixty years in social and pop culture history, and one that will stay with you for years to come.
In this repetitious but inspiring memoir, R&B singer Wilson recalls watching his father, a Church of God preacher, jumping, singing, and stirring souls in their Tulsa, Okla., church in the 1950s and '60s. Wilson was soon doing the same. From his mother, Wilson learns that singing any music other than gospel might have dire consequences, but in his teens he joined his brother's band the Greenwood Archer Pine Street Band, or the Gap Band and began playing in clubs around town. With fondness, he tells stories of working at Shelter Records, backing up Leon Russell, and explores the Gap Band's instrumental role in paving the way for contemporary hip-hop and rhythm and blues. Through all the excitement of his early success, though, Wilson admits to being broke even after releasing nine albums due to bad business decisions; to having low self-esteem; and to beginning an addiction that eventually left him friendless and homeless. In the lowest depths of his addiction, he meets and marries Mahin Tat, who helps pull him out of his drug-addled inferno and sets him back on the road to making the music he loves. With the release of his 2005 album Charlie, Last Name Wilson, the singer made a comeback, working with the likes of Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Beyonc , and Snoop Dogg. Wilson's engaging story frames the excesses of a life in popular music while illustrating the ways that faith, love, determination can overcome even major obstacles.