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 nameCharles Kent Wilson
Also known as"Uncle Charlie"
Born(1953-01-29) January 29, 1953 (age 60)
OriginTulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
GenresR&B, hip hop soul
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, Producer
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards, organ, drums
Years active1972–present
LabelsInterscope, Jive, P Music Group
Associated actsThe Gap Band, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake,, Keith Sweat, Babyface
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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 nameCharles Kent Wilson
Also known as"Uncle Charlie"
Born(1953-01-29) January 29, 1953 (age 60)
OriginTulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
GenresR&B, hip hop soul
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, Producer
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards, organ, drums
Years active1972–present
LabelsInterscope, Jive, P Music Group
Associated actsThe Gap Band, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake,, Keith Sweat, Babyface

Charles Kent "Charlie" Wilson (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 six Grammy 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 wasn't 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 demo topping all its broadcast and cable competition for the night in both demos and total viewers.[3]

Wilson is the national spokesperson for the Prostate Cancer Foundation where there is 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.


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.


Charlie Wilson’s distinctive voice is evocative of both past and present. He is one of the few artists whose vocal style and performance continue to influence some of today’s most popular artists including R. Kelly, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye West.

According to Wilson's website,, he is also known as "Uncle Charlie". This name was given to him by rapper Snoop Dogg,[4] 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.

Wilson has been managed by Michael Paran, CEO of P Music Group [1] for the past 14 years. After years of mismanagement, Paran was responsible for rebranding the GAP Band in 1997 and repositioned them as one of the top R&B touring groups.

A few years later, Paran persuaded Wilson to embark on a solo career even though the odds were against them at the time. They 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.”.[5] 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,, the Underdogs, Kay Gee and The Platinum Brothers. The album, which was certified Gold by the R.I.A.A., produced the ubiquitous hit single, “Charlie, Last Name Wilson.”

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.”

In December 2010, Just Charlie, was released and spawned the hit single “You Are"[6] 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. Wilson's delivery of this beautiful song and its performance at radio have confirmed that it is a wedding classic for years to come.[7]

Wilson has been a sought after 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" he also worked with 2pac and Tha Dogg Pound on an unreleased song "Just Watching" back in 1996 as well as "Wanted Dead Or Alive" this one 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. 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 Ego Trippin', the 2008 album by Snoop Dogg, 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.

Wilson also appeared on Mystikal's Ghetto Fabulous album in 1998 and in 2 songs on UGK's 2007 Underground Kingz album: "Quit Hatin' the South" and "How Long Can It Last".

In 2011, chart-topping producer/artist, Kanye West, reached out to include Wilson on his highly anticipated CD, My Dark 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 also 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. All together Charlie Wilson's albums have sold over one million copies.

Support for the Troops[edit]

Wilson has also opted to make it his personal mission to support American troops especially in the Middle East. Wilson 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 our service men and women a “little taste of home.” Wilson's last trip in November 2011 was a special request by the U.S. Armed Forces for Wilson to return to the Middle East and perform at 5 bases in Kuwait to the thousands of troops stationed there before they returned home from their withdrawal from Iraq under President Barack Obama's campaign promise. A short video clip of the tour can be seen here [8]

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

Personal life[edit]

Wilson’s struggle with alcohol and drug addiction consumed him in the late 1980s and mid-1990s after the breakup of the GAP Band. In 1994 he decided to enter rehabilitation and turn his life around seeking to live a clean and sober life which in turn would give him a new perspective on life. In rehab he met a social worker, Mahin Tat. They married in 1995.[9] As of 2013 Wilson has had 19 years of sobriety. His music continues to resonate with generations of musicians and rappers and he has been recognized as a true ‘living legend’ with his chart-topping solo career surpassing the success that he earned while with the GAP Band.



Wilson has been nominated for six Grammy Awards.

Honors And Awards[edit]




YearTitlePeak chart positionsRIAA certifications[10]
US[11]US R&B[12]
1992You Turn My Life Around
  • Released: July 21, 1992
  • Label: Bon Ami Records / MCA
  • Format: CD, cassette
2000Bridging the Gap
  • Released: November 14, 2000
  • Label: Major Hits Records/ UMVD
  • Format: CD, cassette
2005Charlie, Last Name Wilson
  • Released: August 23, 2005
  • Label: P Music / Jive / Zomba
  • Format: CD, digital download
2009Uncle Charlie
  • Released: February 17, 2009
  • Label: P Music / Jive / Zomba
  • Format: CD, digital download
2010Just Charlie
  • Released: December 7, 2010
  • Label: P Music / Jive / Sony
  • Format: CD, digital download
2013Love, Charlie
  • Released: January 29, 2013
  • Label: P Music / RCA / Sony
  • Format: CD, digital download


YearTitleChart PositionsAlbum
Urban ACUS R&B/Hip-Hop[13]US Hot 100[13]
1992"You Turn My Life Around"-78-You Turn My Life Around
"Sprung on Me"-23-
2000"Without You"1 (2 weeks)26-Bridging the Gap
"Big Pimpin'" (featuring Nate Dogg)---
2005"Charlie, Last Name Wilson"1 (8 weeks)1167Charlie, Last Name Wilson
"Magic"1 (2 weeks)27-
2008"Supa Sexy" (featuring T-Pain & Jamie Foxx)1053[14]-Uncle Charlie
2009"There Goes My Baby "1 (10 weeks)1598
"Can't Live Without You"[15]119-
2010"You Are"1 (15 weeks)13103Just Charlie
2011"I Wanna Be Your Man" (featuring Fantasia)2374-
"Life of the Party"120120
2012"My Love Is All I Have"1 (5 weeks)3668Love, Charlie
2013"Turn Off The Lights"1032-
2013"I Still Have You"---

Featured collaborations[edit]

2013"Bound 2"Kanye WestYeezusDef Jam
2011"More Than You'll Ever Know"Boyz II Men ft. Charlie WilsonTwentyMSM
2011"That's My Bitch"Kanye West & Jay-ZWatch the ThroneDef Jam
2011"Beautiful Dancer"New Boyz ft. Charlie WilsonToo Cool To CareWarner
2010"See Me Now"Kanye West ft. Beyoncé, Charlie Wilson and Big SeanMy Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyDef Jam
2010"All of the Lights"Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyDef Jam
2010"Lost in the World"Kanye West ft. Bon IverMy Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyDef Jam
2010"Runaway"Kanye West ft. Pusha TMy Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyDef Jam
2010"Monster"Kanye West ft. Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Bon IverMy Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyDef Jam
2010"Lord, Lord, Lord"Kanye West ft. Charlie Wilson, Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, RaekwonG.O.O.D. Friday ReleaseDef Jam
2010"Good Friday"Kanye West ft. Charlie Wilson, Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big SeanG.O.O.D. Friday ReleaseDef Jam
2009"Download"Lil' Kim ft. Charlie Wilson and T-PainHard Core 2: All Hail the QueenUMG
2008"Snoop Dogg is Out"Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie WilsonEgo TrippinGeffen
2008"Can't Say Goodbye"Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie WilsonEgo TrippinGeffen
2007"How Long Can it Last"U.G.K. ft. Charlie WilsonUnderground KingsJive
2007"Quit Hatin' the South"U.G.K. ft. Charlie WilsonUnderground KingsJive
2007"Quit Hatin' the South"U.G.K. ft. Charlie WilsonUnderground KingsJive
2006"That Girl"Pharrell ft. Charlie WilsonIn My MindInterscope
2005"Mi Casa"The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Charlie WilsonDuets: The Final ChapterBad Boy
2005"Crack Music"Kanye WestLate RegistrationRock-A-Fella
2004"Perfect"Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie WilsonRhythm and GangstaGeffen
2004"Signs"Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie Wilson and Justin TimberlakeR&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The MasterpieceGeffen
2002"You Got What I Want"Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie WilsonPaid Tha Cost To Be Tha BossPriority
2002"Beautiful"Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell and Uncle Charlie WilsonPaid Tha Cost to Be Tha BossPriority
2002"One Way Street"Avant and Charlie WilsonEcstasyMCA
1999"Pretty Lady"Mint Condition ft. Charlie WilsonLife's AquariumElektra
1998"Whatcha Wanna Do"Mia X ft. Charlie WilsonMama DramaNo Limit
1998"Ghetto Fabulous"Mystikal ft. Charlie WilsonGhetto FabulousJive
1998"Show Me Love"Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie WilsonDa Game Is To Be SoldPriority
1997"Off the Hook"SoundtrackGridlock'dInterscope
1996"Snoop Bounce"Snoop DoggTha DoggfatherDeath Row
1996"Snoop's Upside Your Head"Snoop Dogg ft. Charlie WilsonTha DoggfatherDeath Row
1996"Up Jump Tha Boogie"Snoop DoggTha DoggfatherDeath Row
1996"Groupie"Snoop Dogg ft. 213, Tha Dogg Pound and Charlie WilsonTha DoggfatherDeath Row
1994"Stuff Like That"Quincy JonesQ's Jook JointWarner
1994"Heaven's Girl"Quincy Jones, Charlie Wilson, R. Kelly, Ron Isley, Aaron HallQ's Jook JointWarner
1996"Snoop Bounce"Snoop DoggTha DoggfatherDeath Row
1992"Its Gonna Be Alright"Charlie Wilson and Aaron HallBoomerang SoundtrackArista
1985"Computer Love"Zapp and Roger ft. Charlie WilsonThe New Zapp IVWarner


  1. ^ a b "Charlie Wilson - There Goes My Baby". YouTube. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Wikipedia Files with Charlie Wilson (Gap Band, not late congressman). Wikipedia Files. 6 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Without You - Charlie Wilson". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  6. ^ "Charlie Wilson - You Are". YouTube. 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  7. ^ "Wedding Song of the Week: Charlie Wilson’s "You Are"". Fabulous Celebrity Weddings. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  8. ^ "Charlie Wilson peforms for the United States Troops in Kuwait and Iraq February 2011". YouTube. 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  9. ^ Associated Press. "Former Gap Band singer Charlie Wilson goes from homeless to Grammy nods". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  10. ^ "Gold & Platinum - Kem". RIAA. Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Billboard 200 chart history". billboard. 
  12. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart history". billboard. 
  13. ^ a b "Billboard Hot 100 chart history". billboard. 
  14. ^ "Uncle Charlie - Charlie Wilson". AllMusic. 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  15. ^ "Information Not Found". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 

External links[edit]