Charlie Wilson, In It To Win It
Some people might say that after notching eight No. 1 singles, 11 Grammy Award nominations, a best-selling memoir and ongoing sold-out, coast-to-coast arena tours, Charlie Wilson has proven his point…. and he isn’t planning to slow down anytime soon. “I’ve been in this game for many years,” reflects the Gap Band co-founder and solo star. “I’ve had some big hit records and sold a lot of records. But I need to still show people that I’m in it. It’s championship time.”
Wilson underscores that declaration with his latest album, In It to Win It. The set boasts lead single “I’m Blessed” featuring T.I., currently top 10 Billboard and fastest rising top ten single this year on the Urban Adult Contemporary chart. Coinciding with the new album’s arrival was Wilson’s In It to Win It national arena tour with Fantasia and Johnny Gill which kicked off Feb. 8 in Norfolk, VA and continued throughout the U.S. with 29 dates through the end of March.
Before launching his solo career in 2000, Wilson racked up a string of hits in the late ‘70s and ‘80s as front man with his brothers, the Gap Band. The pioneering R&B/funk group charted such frequently sampled classics as“Outstanding,” “Yearning for Your Love,” “Burn Rubber on Me,” “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Early in the Morning.”
Wilson signed to Jive (now RCA) in 2004 after landing his first No. 1 Billboard Adult R&B hit in 2000, “Without You.” Since then, he’s released six solo albums and has become a consistent chart presence. His tally of 19 hits boasts seven more Adult R&B No. 1s. Among them: “My Love Is All I Have,” “You Are” and “There Goes My Baby.” While garnering 11 Grammy nominations and other industry accolades, including BET’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, Wilson has stayed busy on the road, as he is a major concert draw, claiming the crown for top winter tour of 2015 with his Forever Charlie arena, or in the studio.
In the years between the Gap Band’s heyday and his solo success, Wilson survived drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and prostate cancer. He chronicled his odds-defying life and career in his 2015 best-selling autobiography, I Am Charlie Wilson. Sober now for 22 years, the singer says, “I wouldn’t have believed I’d be where I am right now. That’s why I shout every night because I thank God for allowing me to be here. I’m looking forward to reaching a new swath of fans on this tour and with the release of my new album,” pledges Wilson. “And, I’m not stopping because I Am In It To Win It.”