At the Rolling Stone Rock Room Friday, soul singer Charles Bradley told an endearing tale about how his grandmother's wisdom informed his songwriting worldview. When a young Bradley asked his grandmother, "Grandma, why is there so much pressure and hatred in this world?" she responded by holding up a piece of charcoal and saying that it would one day be a diamond. "'Anytime you go through all these changes,' she said, 'remember your heart, and you can be a precious diamond,'" Bradley recalled. "My grandma never told me anything wrong."
Interview by Eric R. Danton; text by Joe Pinsker