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Charlie Wilson Talks Performing in Kuwait! Plus, His Fave, Ledisi

ESSENCE.com talks to Charlie Wilson about performing in Kuwait. Plus his fave, Ledisi!
Good music is equated with the name Charlie Wilson. The former Gap Band singer is no stranger to perseverance.

Wilson has successfully overcome one roadblock after another — a horrible drug addiction in the ’80s, prostate cancer in 2008, and the Gap Band ending its run in 2010. But the Grammy-nominated singer is unstoppable.

After successfully returning to the limelight, “Uncle Charlie,” has made it his mission to perform for troops in the Middle East. Now he and his band are on their fourth tour of  Kuwait.

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Wilson tells ESSENCE.com, “This is the last hurrah for the men and women in uniform. I know a lot of them are ready to get out of Iraq and to go home for the holidays. But I’ll be there to provide entertainment for them and they’re just excited about it as well. We’re going to play about five shows, touch different bases there.”

Wilson believes that it’s his duty to provide morale to the troops, and in return, he’s overjoyed. “I’m the one they ask for. So I’ll be smiling ear-to-ear watching them smile from ear-to-ear. It’s just great.”

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Inspired as a child by legends like Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and Sly and the Family Stone, Wilson traditionally values good music and good artists.

“Someone like Ledisi, she’s getting stronger and stronger. She has the type and the showmanship to put on a show. She was on the road with me for awhile, and she’s always been good, but she’s getting really, really good. She’s getting to headline her own shows, and I’m really happy to see her turn that corner. R&B is coming back really, really well.”