Charlie Wilson made an appearance at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., delivering his first “Tiny Desk Concert” for the series’ Black Music Month celebrations.
The 70-year-old R&B icon — also known as Uncle Charlie — graced the stage with a seven-piece band and background singers, treating the audience to a soulful 30-minute set that showcased decades of hits.
Wilson’s performance, uploaded to YouTube on Monday, opened with “Charlie, Last Name Wilson” from his 2005 album of the same name. The trip down memory lane continued as he transported the audience back to the 1980s with the ZAPP classic “Computer Love.”
“I’ve been on a lot of records, I’ve sung a lot of duets in pop, rock, hip-hop, and R&B, but I bet you 90 percent of the people in this room don’t know I sang on this record right here,” Wilson revealed before kicking off the number.
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Keeping up the momentum, the Grammy-nominated artist went on to perform his chart-topping 2008 hit “There Goes My Baby,” before shifting gears to deliver a heartfelt rendition of “I’m Blessed”
“I’ve been through so much in my life, I wish I just had enough time to just tell you everything but I don’t,” Wilson said before performing the lead single from his 2017 album, In It to Win It.
“God has been good to me. He’s been better to me than I’ve been to my own self. So for that, I’m blessed,” he said.
Taking a moment of praise during the song, Wilson went on to express gratitude for his sobriety. Reflecting on his journey, he shared, “I went from rags to riches, riches to rags, then rags to the curb, the curb to homeless. Because I was an alcoholic and a crack cocaine addict! But I’m 28 years clean and sober!”
No Charlie Wilson set would be complete without a nod to his roots in The Gap Band. To wrap up the performance, the former frontman revisited beloved classics including “Yearning For Your Love” and “Outstanding,” filling the room with his timeless energy.
Watch Charlie Wilson’s Tiny Desk Concert below. The full set list can be found on the NPR website.
Charlie Wilson Takes Walk Down Memory Lane at NPR’s ‘Tiny Desk’ Concert
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