“Gee, I feel so lucky today to be on the Tiny Desk show,” Wilson sings with recreated lyrics to his song “Outstanding,” repeated by five background singers at the 25:06 mark. “Cause I really love the way you love me, girl. Forever, I am yours.”
Back by a live band, the 70-year-old former lead singer of The Gap Band made a joyful noise for the NPR staff with a playlist filled with classics from his group and solo career, including “Yearning For Your Love,” “Charlie, Last Name Wilson,” “There Goes My Baby,” and his remix version to Masego and Devin Morrison’s latest hit “Sweet Yamz.” Uncle Charlie would take a trip down memory lane between songs to share his rags to riches to riches to rags to riches again life story, give a testimony, and unveils unknown facts about iconic records he collaborated on that many might not know.
“I’ve been on a lot of records,” said Wilson at the beginning of the concert before surprising the staff with a “Computer Love” performance by Zapp & Rodger, for which he supplied the song’s vocals. “I’ve sang a lot of duets in pop, rock, hip-hop, and R&B. But I bet you 90% of the people in this room don’t know I sang on this record right here. Let me see if you know it” he continued.
Charlie Wilson initially saw fame in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s with The Gap Band before embarking on a successful solo career in 2008. Wilson’s career spans 51 years. The artist’s resume ranges from Snoop Dogg to Jamie Foxx. Wilson has released 15 albums with the Gap Band and eight solo albums.
NPR shared the news of the popular series’ upcoming all-star guests last week in a partnership announcement with famed R&B singer/songwriter-turned-podcast host Tank. The upcoming Tiny Desk concert lineup includes Babyface, Ambre, Brandee Younger, and Adam Blackstone. Previous Tiny Desk performers include R&B legends Musiq Soulchild, Miguel, Snoah Alegra, and Usher.
Watch the full Charlie Wilson Tiny Desk performance below.