BET Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Who is Charlie Wilson?

Jun 29, 2013 at 4:50 p.m. ET

Charlie Wilson is being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 BET Awards on Sunday. Learn a little bit more about the legendary musician.


At the 2013 BET Awards on Sunday, June 30, Charlie Wilson will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He's a noted musician, philanthropist and friend to many in the music industry. To those that really know him well, he's just Uncle Charlie. Take a look at the reasons he's being honored.

1. The Gap Band

Charlie and his brothers, Robert and Ronnie, formed the group that played some of the most popular funk music of the 1970s and 1980s. The Gap Band's hits included songs like "You Dropped a Bomb on Me," "Early in the Morning" and "Party Train." The band retired in 2010 after Robert passed away, but their legacy lives on through their music.

2013 BET Awards Playlist: Beyoncé, J.T. and more >>

2. Solo career

Wilson went on to a successful solo career in the 1990s. His work has influenced countless of current artists including Snoop Lion, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake. His work is consistently on the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary charts and he's been honored with Grammy nominations as recently as 2010. The 60-year-old can be heard on West's current album Yeezus on the track "Bound 2."

3. Philanthropy

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, a disease that affects one in six American men, Wilson partnered up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation in 2008. His work for the foundation includes speaking engagements and donating profits raised from the sale of his signature fedora hats on his website and at his concerts.

In a 2009 statement announcing his work with the PCF, the musician said, “I am excited to be working with the PCF. They are the driving force behind many of the advances that have been made in prostate cancer treatment to date. Their work has helped reduce the death rate by nearly 40 percent in the past few years. Together, I believe we can make an important impact."

2013 BET Award nominations: Drake's the man to beat >>

4. Famous friends

It was Snoop Lion who nicknamed the legend "Uncle Charlie" and their friendship runs deep. In fact, it was Wilson who sang at Snoop's marriage vow renewal ceremony in April 2008. He sang "There Goes My Baby," which inspired a popular music video as a tribute to the couple. In addition to Kanye's new album, Wilson has also appeared with Justin Timberlake on Snoop's single "Signs" and with Beyoncé on West's tune "See Me Now." He's not only carved a path for his own musical career, but influenced the next generation as well.

BET Awards: Beyoncé and other soulful divas' top performances >>


Watch Charlie Wilson receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 30, at 8 p.m. ET.

Image courtesy of Daniel Tanner/