by Cheryl Eldridge Editor
Academy Award®-winning superstar Jamie Foxx will host the BBVA Compass Concert for Human Rights on Saturday, Sept. 14, at The Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center in Birmingham, Ala.
The event will feature musical performances by Grammy® award-winning singer-songwriter Jill Scott and 2013 BET Lifetime Achievement Honoree and R&B singer-songwriter Charlie Wilson. Civil rights leaders will also make special appearances. The concert will support “50 Years Forward,” the city’s year-long celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famed “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
I had the privilege to interview one of my favorite uncles, Charlie Wilson.
Uncle Charlie is visiting Birmingham for a Concert for Human Rights and said that he is elated to be a part of such a pivotal moment in history. He also can’t wait to see his friends Jill Scott, and Jamie Foxx.
It was a sunny afternoon and I got a call from Charlie Wilson’s Public Relation contact that he was on the phone and ready for the interview.
I was so excited. Of course, I said ” Hello Uncle Charlie.” He seemed so excited and delighted while speaking with me.
I asked him how did he get the name “Uncle Charlie.” He stated that Uncle Charlie was “America’s Favorite Uncle”, he gave an example of being the cool uncle when momma and daddy said ‘no’, he said ‘yes’ and he would always be the one that would give you an encouraging word or some money to go and buy junk food, etc.
Although Uncle Charlie is a family man who lives on a ranch with his wife, (who travels with him always and collaborates with him musically) and mentioned some of his animals which includes the llamas, alpacas, cats, goats, lambs, among other animals in his barn.
His passion, however, is singing, entertaining and writing songs. He stated he has so much passion and energy when it comes to music. He loves what he’s doing and for the next five years or so, he will continue to cut records and tour all over the world.
This cancer survivor/achiever and award winning uncle states that he is a cancer advocate. He recommends men to go to the doctor and get checked. His key to fighting Prostate Cancer was simple, “He Never Gave Up.”
He can’t wait to get to Birmingham. He plans on performing 90 minutes of every “hit” possible including some of his Best Bets and Gap Band Hits.
The BBVA Concert for Human Rights, which will be co-produced by Live Nation, will take place at the end of a week-long remembrance of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which killed four girls in 1963 and marked a turning point in the struggle for civil rights.
“To have this event and artists of this caliber in the City of Birmingham to help commemorate and pay tribute to the individuals who risked their lives for freedom leaves me speechless,” said Birmingham Mayor William Bell. “Birmingham has come so far since 1963 and we want to show the world that we are 50 Years Forward. As the cradle of civil rights, we will continue going forward to make not only Birmingham better, but the world’s consciousness stronger in the struggle for human rights.”
“We knew this event would draw quality artists since it’s commemorating such an important time, and the line-up certainly reflects that,” said Alan Register, Birmingham city president for BBVA Compass. “Our hope is that the concert inspires people to get out there and continue to move the needle forward and make a difference.”
Shawn Gee, Geoff Gordon and Scott Mirkin are executive producers of the concert and are the same creative team behind some of the largest concerts and live streams in the U.S., including The Philly Fourth of July Jam and Budweiser Made In America Festival. Artists that have performed at these events include The Roots, JAY Z, Pearl Jam, John Mayer, Ne-Yo, J. Cole, Grace Potter, Jill Scott and many more. Charlie “Mack” Alston also serves as co-producer for the BBVA Compass Concert for Human Rights.
“It is our honor to co-produce and be a part of the BBVA Compass Concert for Human Rights,” said Live Nation’s Geoff Gordon. “Artists like Jamie Foxx, Jill Scott and Charlie Wilson help bring attention to Birmingham and the city’s place in our civil rights movement.”
For more information, go to 50yearsforward.com.