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VIA: ESSENCE.COM

Success as the lead singer of 1980s R&B group The Gap Band catapulted Charlie Wilson to fame and fortune. But stardom didn’t keep Wilson from hitting rock bottom. After the group parted ways with their manager and split their publishing deal with him in 1986, the band, still under contract, had trouble finding new management. With little money coming in and frustrations mounting, Wilson turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope, leading him to a life on the streets of Los Angeles for nearly two years.

With the help of a drug counselor, Mahin, who would later become his wife, Wilson sobered up and reignited his career. “Love saved me,” says the 57-year-old who is set to release his third solo album, “Just Charlie” next month.

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