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'The Big Issue' looks back at a life well lived with smooth talker and musician extraordinaire; George Benson

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George Benson: ‘My mother taught me how to be a human being'

At 16, I  was keen to learn something that would enhance my pockets for the rest of my life so I was studying commercial art. It was an incredible situation because that was not something African-Americans did at that time. I went to a very privileged school. It was built in the heart of the black ghetto. When they asked me why I wanted to be an artist I told them I was trying to find a trade. They said well, you can't get in the unions so you'll probably never get a job as a commercial artist. I think they were right – eventually I found that was indeed the case.

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