It feels strange to call some who only officially started releasing music in 2011 a soul legend. However, it only takes a glance at Charles Bradley’s backstory to know that the 67-year-old recording artist is the real deal. Running away from home at the age of 14, for two years Bradley spent his days panhandling on the streets and his nights sleeping on subway cars. After pulling himself from homelessness by enlisting in Job Corps, Bradley spent the next 20-or-so years doing odd jobs and hitchhiking across the country. In 1977 Bradley found his calling as a James Brown impersonator. Using the stage name “Black Velvet,” he performed only at small gigs around California. In 2002, Bradley was discovered by Brooklyn based label Daptone Records and the rest is history.
Listen to Bradley turn the Black Sabbath song, “Changes” into an Otis Redding styled classic above.