Charlie Wilson: ‘I Loved Cocaine,’ New Album Has Nine Songs So Far
With a career spanning well over four decades, Charlie Wilson might just be R&B music’s foremost authority on career longevity. He started out as the lead singer of the Gap Band and after a bumpy ride riddled with addiction problems, Wilson has gone on to find solo success.
“I try real hard,” Wilson tells The BoomBox. “First of all, I left alcohol and drugs behind me and that was one of the things that weighs a lot on your shoulders. It’s been 18 years [of sobriety] for me, nothing but water. It allowed me for all these years to just focus on music.
“I loved cocaine. I did,” he admits. “Any drug, doesn’t matter what kind it is, because drugs don’t care who you are. [Whether] you’re the plumber or the president of the U.S., it doesn’t matter. Drugs wants to grab a hold to you. I was homeless, and got up. [After the Gap Band] I ended up sleeping in cars, but when I got myself up I was like, ‘Just let me do this one more time.”
His career resurgence has opened him up to a younger generation, and turned him into a sought after collaborator in the hip-hop world. He’s worked with the likes of Mystikal, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg, among others. The 59-year-old’s latest LP, ‘Just Charlie,’ spawned the hit ‘You Are,’ which grabbed the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Urban Adult Contemporary chart, where it stayed for 13 weeks. The album also earned him two Grammy nominations at this year’s ceremony.
Having released two albums every year since 2009, Wilson is busy creating another project, which will be out this year. “I’m on it right now, trust me,” Wilson reveals. “I got about eight or nine [songs] already done. We’ll see what’s going on. So many producers [are] trying to come to the table, so I’ma see what that’s going to be about.”
Watch Charlie Wilson in Boyz II Men’s ‘More Than You’ll Ever Know’ Video