Musician Charles Neville, the brother of Aaron Neville and a member of the R&B funk group The Neville Brothers, has died. He was 79 years old.
Aaron Neville confirmed the news to WWL Thursday. The 79-year-old was sick for some time, the station reported. He died at his Massachusetts home.
The New Orleans Advocate reported that the second-oldest of the four Neville brothers had pancreatic cancer. The saxophonist was part of many hits for the band, including 1989’s “Yellow Moon” and the Grammy Award-winning “Healing Chant” from that same year, according to The Times-Picayune.
Neville posted a lengthy tribute to his big brother on Facebook, saying that he was “in the heavenly band” next to jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll greats such as Charlie Parker, Fats Domino and Dizzy Gillespie.
“My dear brother Charlie the horn man, just want you to know that if I would’ve had the choice of picking my brothers, I would definitely choose you,” he wrote in the post. “You were a great brother. You’ll always be in my heart and soul, like a tattoo. You helped to mold me into who I am today and I’ll always be thankful. I’ll always see your special infectious smile on the stage next to me, it would always give me a smile. I’m happy that we had a long hang together, the ups and downs. It took who we were and where we came from to make us who we are.”
“You take your well deserved rest with God in Heaven and play with the heavenly band. I know that you’re whole again. Jesus will wrap you in His loving arms and take away all the hurt of the world. We all love you very much. But I know that Jesus loved you best.”
In addition to Aaron Neville, Charlie Neville is survived by his daughter Charmaine, sons Talyn and Khalif; sister Athelgra Neville Gabriel, and brothers Art and Cyril.