Charlie Wilson, the former lead vocalist for the Gap Band and now equally sensational soloist, has reached heights and achieved awards that many entertainers both dream of and pursue for a lifetime.
But for this humble, God-fearing singer, songwriter and producer who turns 65 in January, what really matters, he says, is remaining drug-free and taking full advantage of the joy he still experiences every time he steps out on stage before crowds, young and old, who shout their approval, support and love for him — an entertainer who’s had the unique opportunity to celebrate not one, but two distinctive and successful careers.
And “Uncle Charlie,” as he’s fondly called by those who relish his musical gifts and prowess, promises to give everything he’s got when he returns to the District on Saturday, Dec. 30 at DAR Constitution Hall for an evening that will assuredly be entertaining, engaging and one that few will ever forget.
“I always try to make sure I show up and that I bring real energy to my shows,” he said. “I may reach back to music that I did when I was part of the Gap Band. I may even do a few Christmas tunes since I’m working on a holiday CD that I plan to release next year. I’m always doing me.”
Wilson recently received word that he’s been nominated for three 2018 NAACP Image Awards — for Outstanding Male Artist, Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration and Outstanding Album. And with several recent singles, “I’m Blessed” featuring T.I and “Chills,” both from his “In It to Win It” CD, having achieved climbed to the top on the gospel and Billboard Adult R&B singles charts, it’s clear that he still has the musical gifts that first became evident during his youth.
“It’s great to be nominated and I’m actually kind of overwhelmed,” he said. “To be celebrated for what I love to do at this stage of my life really feels good.”
So, what’s a typical day like for “Uncle Charlie?” He says it’s all about working hard and remaining focused.
“I get in the gym every morning because it’s important that I be in shape — that I remain at championship level,” he said. “My mother used to tell me that a poor train can’t toot its own whistle. I still live by that creed, whether I’m preparing for an audience of 200 or 200,000. I refuse to fake it and I promise that when I’m done, I have nothing left.”
Wilson has even invited a few special folks to his D.C. show, most notably those among the ranks of recovering addicts and the homeless. He wants them, and others to know, that he understands what it’s like.
“I ask God to help me remain clean and sober every day,” he said. “And I’ve been successful now for some 22 years. I also once battled, and I guess you’d even say, defeated prostate cancer. It taught me that we must stay proactive, see our physician regularly and stop making excuses as it relates to our health and physical well-being.”
“After the show when I get back home, I plan to chill by the pool and relax with my family and friends. This time of the year can be rather emotional for me as I reflect on those who have gone on to be with the Lord. My wife and the rest of the family just shower each other with love. I call my special friends and I take it easy. I give Him thanks and praise. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season,” he said.
For tickets, call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.