For Charlie Wilson, the road to being an R&B legend has been a long and eventful one. Another milestone in that journey occurred on Monday (January 29) as he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 71-year-old lead singer of The Gap Band reminisced over a moment in his past when he first arrived in Los Angeles while addressing the crowd at the ceremony.
“But I was walking in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and I was trying to put my hands in the hands on the sidewalk. I was like, ‘Wow, what if I can get this one day?’, Wilson said. “Some woman walking by said, ‘That’s not impossible.’ I said, ‘But I’m talking about me.’ She said, ‘Yeah, and I’m telling you it’s not impossible. It might be improbable, but not impossible.’ And now, here it is — so many years later, and I’m getting that star on Hollywood Boulevard.”
Snoop Dogg, a frequent collaborator of Wilson’s, praised the singer for being a vault of knowledge for him. “That’s the treasure to me. because when we get in this industry, we don’t really have people who we can count on, who we can go to. We get so far in this industry that you lose contact,” said the rapper. “So, to have somebody like you to stay in my life and to be there for me and my family means the world to me, Charlie.”
Charlie Wilson underwent the highs of fame and the lows – after the success of The Gap Band, he struggled with addiction and homelessness for most of the 1990s. That decade, however, would see him revitalized through being featured on numerous tracks by Hip-Hop artists and a solo career. He’d earn 13 Grammy Award nominations, a BET Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Soul Train Icon award. Wilson also successfully overcame prostate cancer in 2008 and is now a Prostate Cancer Foundation spokesperson.
“I’m still here to be able to tell my story and be able to dance and sing and have a good time on the stage,” said Wilson. “All the things I’ve ever prayed for, they all came to pass. I really sort of am Superman — I’m faster than all of the speeding bullets that came after me.”
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