Soul singer Charles Bradley dies at 68

Soul singer Charles Bradley, who drew comparisons to James Brown thanks to his excitable stage persona, died Saturday (Sept. 23) following a long bout with cancer.

Bradley passed away in Brooklyn surrounded by family and friends, as well as members of bands he had worked, including Menahan Street Band, His Extraordinaires, Budos Band and the Jimmy Hill Allstarz. The latter was his band while performing as as Black Velvet.

“Thank you for your prayers during this difficult time,” read a statement from his spokesperson. “Mr. Bradley was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on.”

26 PHOTOS
Charles Bradley through the years
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Charles Bradley through the years
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: Singer Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band peform during the Charles Bradley Album Release party at Southpaw on January 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4080 -- Pictured: Musical guest Charles Bradley performs on July 21, 2011 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24: Singer Charles Bradley performs onstage at The Hollywood Bowl on July 24, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mathew Imaging/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 14: Singer Charles Bradley performs at the Lands End Stage during the 2011 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 14, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
GEORGE, WA - MAY 26: Singer Charles Bradley performs at Sasquatch Festival on May 26, 2012 in George, Washington. (Photo by Dana Nalbandian/WireImage)
MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 09: Singer Charles Bradley performs during Day 3 of 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on June 9, 2012 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Gary Miller/WireImage)
NEWPORT, RI - JULY 29: Singer Charles Bradley performs during the 2012 Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams State Park on July 29, 2012 in Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage)
BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 08: American singer Charles Bradley performs live during a concert at the Astra on August 8, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15: Singer Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band performs onstage at Radio Day Stage during the 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 15, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Dustin Finkelstein/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15: Singer Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band performs onstage at Radio Day Stage during the 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 15, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Dustin Finkelstein/Getty Images for SXSW)
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 14: Charles Bradley performs at day three of the North Sea Jazz Festival at Ahoy on July 14, 2013 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Greetsia Tent/WireImage)
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 03: Charles Bradley poses backstage during Lollapalooza 2013 at Grant Park on August 3, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Legato/FilmMagic)
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 03: Charles Bradley performs during Lollapalooza 2013 at Grant Park on August 3, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Legato/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer Charles Bradley performs onstage at Carrie Stage during day 1 of the FYF Fest 2013 at Los Angeles State Historic Park on August 24, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for FYF)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 31: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires perform live at the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival at Seattle Center on August 31, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic)
American soul singer Charles Bradley poses for a portrait session in Rotterdam, Netherlands on 13th July 2014. (Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns)
QUEBEC CITY, QC - JULY 13: Charles Bradley performs during Festival D'ete De Quebec on July 13, 2015 in Quebec City, Canada. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images,)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 19: Singer Charles Bradley attends the PANDORA Discovery Den SXSW on March 19, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Pandora)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Charles Bradley performs on stage at the O2 Forum Kentish Town on March 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by C Brandon/Redferns)
BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 09: American singer Charles Bradley performs live during a concert at the Astra on April 9, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Singer Charles Bradley enters 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on April 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 28: Singer Charles Bradley performs onstage during FYF Fest 2016 at Los Angeles Sports Arena on August 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for FYF)
GEORGE, WA - MAY 26: Musician Charles Bradley performs at the Sasquatch! Music Festival at Gorge Amphitheatre on May 26, 2017 in George, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/WireImage)
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 22: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires performs at Chene Park Amphitheater on June 22, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - JUNE 24: Singer Charles Bradley performs onstage during Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Brookside Golf Course on June 24, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/WireImage)
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In early September, Bradley was forced to cancel all of his upcoming tour dates following a second bout of cancer that has made performance difficult. With 37 dates scheduled through the end of the year -- including a number of festival dates in the U.S. and Europe -- Bradley's spokesperson said the singer began to feel run down during recent shows. A year after a stomach cancer diagnosis, doctors informed him that his cancer had spread to his liver, though it had not returned to his stomach.

The energetic performer, who drew comparisons to James Brown thanks to his excitable stage persona, spent decades working as a chef and playing gigs on the side, before gaining the attention of Daptone Records' Gabriel Roth -- who released the singer's first single, 2002's "Take It as It Comes," which ultimately led to his acclaimed 2011 full-length debut, No Time for Dreaming.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to All-Stars Project or Music Unites.

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Celebrities who died in 2017

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