Many aspiring musicians will give more than a leg to enjoy half the success Charlie Wilson has been able to attain in his music career that has so far lasted almost half a century. The former lead vocalist for The Gap Band, who went on to launch a solo career as he contributed his distinctive baritone to song’s like Snoop Dogg‘s “Signs” & “Beautiful” and Kanye West‘s “Bound 2”, has eleven Grammy Award nominations to his name in addition to various other honors. Read on to find out more about his career as well as his other achievements.
Charlie Wilson was born to Wilmuth and Reverend Oscar Wilson on the 29th of January, 1953 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He began singing at a very young age and because his father was a minister in the Church of God in Christ, he and his brothers; Ronnie and Robert, often sang while their mother played the piano.
Wilson attended Booker T. Washington high school where he continued his singing by joining the school’s choir before deciding to form the musical group The Gap Band with his brothers. After high school, Wilson enrolled at Langston University Marching Pride during which his group got their big break by being the backup band for Oklahoman pop music artist Leon Russell.
Charlie Wilson and his brothers worked to popularize an upbeat form of funk music but the genre failed to catch on with the public as of yet. The group later moved to Los Angeles where they got to work with producer Lonnie Simmons who helped shape their style and land them a deal with Mercury Records as they released a number of Top 10 R&B hits in the late 70’s and 80’s. Some of the group’s most popular songs include “Outstanding” which reached #1 on the R&B Chart, “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” (#2), “Party Train” (#3), and “Yearning for Your Love” (#5).
By 1989, Wilson began contributing his vocals to a number of hip-hop and rap tracks, becoming one of the most sort after vocalists in the industry. He soon got lost in the fame as he began struggling with addiction which culminated in him losing his home and spending some time on the streets. By 1996, Wilson again reemerged and got back together with his brothers. He later embarked on a solo music career that led to the birth of albums such as Bridging the Gap (2000), Charlie, Last Name Wilson (2005), Uncle Charlie (2009), and Just Charlie (2010).
Charlie Wilson’s Net Worth
Charlie Wilson is as of 2018 said to have a net worth of $15 million. The eleven-time Grammy Award nominee was successful in resurrecting his music career after he lost everything in 1993 due to the bad habits he had picked up. He later got his act together to put himself in a position to get an album deal with Jive Records as he has worked with numerous artists including Kanye West, Boyz II Men, and Quincy Jones.
Family – Wife, Children
Following Charlie Wilson’s battle with drugs and his subsequent entry into a rehabilitation program in 1995, he met and fell in love with Mahin Tat, a social worker, and director at the facility he joined. The pair began dating after Mahin confronted Wilson over his poor behavior and not taking what he was doing at the facility seriously. A few months after that, Wilson asked Mahin for her hand in marriage and she accepted.
Mahin went on to help her husband fully recover from his cocaine and alcohol addictions as she also encouraged him to continue his music career. The two have been inseparable ever since as she was also by his side when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008. In turn, Wilson has been able to bring his wife into the music industry as a songwriter. She has been credited with co-writing or at least inspiring songs like You Are, If I Believe, and My Love is All I Have.
Is He Dead?
Charlie Wilson is very much alive and active in the music industry today. In 2008, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer but he received adequate treatment through radiation implants that cured him since the cancer was caught early. He has since that time worked to bring awareness to the disease in the black community.