Charlie Wilson on Surviving Cancer, Musical Legacy

Relentless, Passionate, Unstoppable— that’s Charlie Wilson. Forty years after he burst onto the scene with the Gap Band, the crooner still sells out shows and drops hit records. The key to his success? His desire to outwork absolutely anyone. “I think my good problem is that I have the passion to want to achieve again,” says Wilson, 60. “When people tell me, ‘No,’ it just gives me more motivation to prove them wrong.” And he has.
Since rebranding himself as “Uncle Charlie,” a nickname he received from Snoop Dogg, Wilson has been a leader on the R&B charts. With his latest project, Love, Charlie (out now), the veteran singer reminds listeners about what’s most important: “Share love, receive love, and then, know how to make love.” —by Britni Danielle

R&B legend talks reunions, legacy and beating cancer.

Is it likely for the Gap Band to get back together?
The main guy who really wanted that to happen was my younger brother Robert, and he passed, so I’d prob-
ably say no. But you never know what God has planned for us. It would take a lot of Gap Band fans to come out of the woodwork to say they wanted me to do that.

Why do audiences both young and old love you equally?
I understand both worlds. I understand all of the genres. You know, there is no music that I can’t do really, really well.

As a cancer survivor, how do you keep your stamina to constantly keep touring?
You’ve got to be in shape and you’ve got to keep a young spirit. Everybody’s trying to figure out how I got where I am— it’s because I have a driving, inspiring, young spirit.