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Charlie Wilson spans the R&B generation gap
Charlie Wilson spans the R&B generation gap

Charlie Wilson has been alive for 58 years, and has been singing for nearly all of them — first in his church choir and then in the Gap Band, the pioneering funk group he formed at the age of 14 with his brothers Ronnie and Robert. That long, remarkable career has reached an unlikely new peak with Wilson's success as a solo artist. This weekend, he'll be headlining the African American Heritage Festival on a bill that includes other R&B acts Chrisette Michele, Estelle and Lil Mo. Wilson credits his continued good fortune to his instrument. "The sound of my voice never went out of style," he said. Even when the Gap Band's career wound down from its...

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