Gary Gershoff/WireImageFormer Gap Band frontman Charlie Wilson credits R. Kelly with helping him achieve success as a solo artist, but now Uncle Charlie says he’s finished working with the “Bump n’ Grind” singer.
Wilson agreed to open for Kelly in February at a concert in Detroit, but he made sure the singer knew that was the last time they would work together.
“So I said, ‘Take this, and then that’s it,’” Wilson tells the Los Angeles Times. “‘Thank you for what you did for me. I’m gonna give you this one, but one is it. Then we stepped out the way. No more.”
After two decades as the lead singer of The Gap Band, Wilson released solo albums in 1992, and 2000. But it wasn’t until his third album, Charlie, Last Name Wilson, that the legendary singer emerged as a solo star. Kelly composed and produced three songs on the gold-certified album, including the number one title tune.
65-year-old Wilson, a former drug addict, has now become a mentor to many younger artists. While some heed his advice, he warns that those who don’t will suffer the consequences.
“I’ve talked till I’m blue in the face with some of these people,” he says. “Some people don’t want to listen, and if you don’t want to listen, the bed of nails is there for you to lay on.”
“But I’m the industry’s uncle,” Wilson adds. “Somebody’s getting out of hand, I’m there to speak: ‘Just settle on down.’ It’s coming from my heart. Everything that you’re going through, I’ve already been there.”
Uncle Charlie is now working on “special project with special people,” but wouldn’t reveal details.
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