Timeless. It’s something every artist wants to be, but few earn the distinction. Charlie Wilson’s name is on that short list.

From his breakout as a member of the Gap Band (“You Dropped A Bomb On Me,” “Outstanding”) in the ‘80s to his revered solo recordings (2005’s certified gold Charlie, Last Name Wilson, 2010’s Grammy nominated Uncle Charlie), Wilson has sold millions of albums, inspired a throng of artists who modeled their vocal stylings after his (most notably Aaron Hall and R. Kelly) and cemented his status as a musical icon with accolades from Billboard and BET, among a host of others.

Now, with his third Jive Records solo album Just Charlie, Wilson is on a mission: to teach people how to respect, treat and speak to women. It’s about respect and total commitment, something Wilson puts on full display with the lead single “You Are,” produced by Wilson and P Music Group producer/songwriter Wirlie Morris.

In the early 1990s, Wilson (who had already been identified as the blueprint on which Guy’s Aaron Hall and R. Kelly modeled their style) became friends and a regular collaborator with Snoop Dogg. This relationship provided Wilson with access to many of the artists that idolized him, as well as a fresh group of emerging talent who inspired him to continue pushing the limits of his own material.

“I had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest hip-hop artists in this business,” recalls Wilson, who has collaborated with Kanye West, R. Kelly, Jamie Foxx, T-Pain and Justin Timberlake, among others. “It allowed me to open up my horizons and be able to learn about different types of music. Working with these artists allowed me to not be locked in a time capsule. It opened the door for me to be a part of today’s contemporary music scene.”

With music and his work to combat prostate cancer, Wilson has been able to sustain the passion and drive that have been hallmarks of his legendary career. “I’m still living this dream,” Wilson says. “I’m still going to the stage and I’m still having fun. I’m not there just to pick up the check. It’s about the passion and the respect that I have for the game. It keeps me going.”

No wonder Charlie Wilson is considered timeless. And no wonder Just Charlie will soon earn the same distinction.

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