Charlie Wilson Wears Masked Singer Costume, Likens Coachella to Fridge

Charlie Wilson Reflects on Unique Challenges on 'Masked Singer'

by Zain ul Abedin
Charlie Wilson Wears Masked Singer Costume, Likens Coachella to Fridge
© Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Charlie Wilson, the celebrated 13-time Grammy nominee, recently shared his unique experiences on "The Masked Singer" and performing with Tyler, the Creator at Coachella 2024. At 71 years old, Wilson, known for his dynamic career and as a co-founder of The Gap Band, stepped into a new challenge as 'Ugly Sweater' on the popular singing competition show.

Wilson described his vocal challenges on "The Masked Singer," noting the rigidity of the show's musical demands. "They had me singing it upstairs and they could see if I could sing it. I said, ‘Well, can you bring it down some? It's a little high,’” Wilson shared with PEOPLE.

Despite his requests, he was required to adhere to the predetermined musical keys, a testament to the show's strict format. The soulful singer was eliminated on Queen Night after his rendition of “I Want to Break Free”.

Reflecting on his exit, Wilson displayed his characteristic humor and grace: “I wish I could have went all the way, but it just didn't work that way for me. And I was fine with it. Somebody got to bite the dust, and it looks like to me, ‘Ugly Sweater, you're the one going to bite the dust.’”

Heavy Suit Challenges

Wilson's stint as the Ugly Sweater was physically taxing due to the costume's heavy design, significantly restricting his movement.

"The suit weighed about 200 pounds... I barely could walk," he explained, highlighting the physical demands of his performance. The judges' guessing game added an entertaining layer to his experience, with guesses ranging from Smokey Robinson to Aaron Neville.

Yet, it was Robin Thicke's accurate identification that confirmed Wilson's unmistakable vocal signature early in the competition. Offstage, Wilson remains influential and connected, recalling his interactions with other music legends like Kanye West and Snoop Dogg.

His backstage stories reveal a candid side of these artists, from studio dress codes to unexpected personal interactions. At Coachella, Wilson faced another set of challenges, battling cold temperatures which he likened to "singing in a refrigerator." This experience led him to quip that if he had worn his Ugly Sweater costume, he might have "wrecked the place." Through it all, Wilson's wife, Mahin, has been a cornerstone of support.

Despite initial misconceptions about her background, she has been instrumental in navigating both personal and professional landscapes with him.