Soul Singer Charles Bradley Dies at 68

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Charles Bradley

“Mr. Bradley was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on.”

Soul singer Charles Bradley died Saturday following a long bout with cancer.

Bradley passed away in Brooklyn, New York, surrounded by family and friends, as well as members of bands he had worked with, including Menahan Street Band, His Extraordinaires, The Budos Band and Jimmy Hill and the Allstarz Band, which was his band while he performed as "Black Velvet."

“Thank you for your prayers during this difficult time,” read a statement from Bradley's representative. “Mr. Bradley was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on.”

In early September, Bradley was forced to cancel all of his upcoming tour dates following a second bout of cancer that made performing difficult.

With 37 dates scheduled through the end of the year — including a number of festival dates in the U.S. and Europe — Bradley's rep said the singer had begun to feel run down during recent shows.

A year after a stomach-cancer diagnosis, doctors informed Bradley that his cancer had spread to his liver, though it had not returned to his stomach.

The energetic performer — who drew comparisons to James Brown, thanks to his excitable stage persona — spent decades working as a chef and playing gigs on the side, before gaining the attention of Daptone Records' Gabriel Roth. Roth released the singer's first single, 2002's "Take It as It Come," which ultimately led to his acclaimed 2011 full-length debut, No Time for Dreaming.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to All Stars Project or Music Unites.

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.

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