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Charlie Wilson related to Snoop Dogg "by love, not blood"

for Journal Register Newspapers

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Much of the music world knows Charlie Wilson as Snoop Dogg’s uncle. Or at least they think that’s the case.

The truth is that the former Gap Band singer is actually a close friend of the rapper’s, although he was certainly happy to play along with idea of being a blood relative.

“It wasn’t that odd because I was always with Snoop and in his family business or whatever was happening in his home,” says the Oklahoma-born Wilson, 58, who’s still touring to promote 2010’s “Just Charlie,” his fifth solo album. “My wife and I have played a very big role in his life, just trying to keep him steered in the right direction as a married man and a father.

“And he was telling everybody, ‘That’s my Uncle Charlie. That’s my mama’s brother. He kept going on about it, but then everybody kept asking, ‘Well, how are you related to Snoop?’ We finally said, ‘Not by blood but by love.’ We had to finally start letting people know, because it was really getting too complicated to try to explain all that.”

Wilson says he carries credibility with Snoop and other younger artists because of his own life experiences, which included being homeless and addicted to drugs for a time after he left the Gap Band in 1992.

“He’s seen me in the streets and at the low point of my life — sleeping in some really weird places and roaming the streets at night and all of that,” Wilson recalls. “It was a crazy situation. But I just hung in there because I believed that I had something else to do other than just be a guy that was doing drugs and alcohol and had nowhere else to go. I knew there was something else after the Gap Band.

“So because (Snoop) saw me like that and saw me come through it and out of it, I can talk to him about anything, which makes our relationship really special.”

Charlie Wilson and Loose Ends perform at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4 at the Chene Park Amphitheatre, 2600 Atwater St. at Chene, Detroit. Tickets are $75 and $55 pavilion, $32 lawn. Call 313-393-7128 or visit www.cheneparkdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.cheneparkdetroit.com

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