Before He Was Known Worldwide By His Stage Name, He was Born, Raymond Charles Robinson, On September 23, 1930, In Albany, Georgia. The Blind Superstar Had A Career That Spanned More Than 50 Years. He Was An Innovative, Music Pioneer Who Helped Shape The Sound Of Modern Rhythm And Blues (Or Soul) Music. Charles Began Recording R&B And Pop Music During The 1950's. He And Sam Cooke Were Leading Figures In Developing Soul Music -- A Fusion Of Gospel, Blues, With A Touch Of Country Influence.The Versatile Singer, Songwriter And Pianist Also Successfully Performed Rock 'N' Roll, Gospel, And Jazz And Led The Way For Generations Of Black Performers.
"I Can't Stop Loving You," Ray Charles' Biggest-Selling Single Of All -Time, From The Groundbreaking Album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Hit #1 On The Billboard Hot 100 Chart During The Week Of June 2, 1962. It Stayed In That Spot For Four Weeks. The Song Also Topped The United States Pop, Adult Contemporary And R&B Charts.
Among His Other Hits: "What'd I Say," "Hit The Road Jack," "Busted," "The Night Time Is The Right Time (To Be With The One You Love)," "In The Heat Of The Night," "Georgia On My Mind (This Song Was Made Into The Official State Song For Georgia) And "Unchain My Heart."
Charles' Rendition Of "America The Beautiful " Has Been Called The Definitive Version Of The Song. Frank Sinatra Once Called Ray Charles "the only true genius in the business" And In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine Ranked Him #10 On Their List Of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
He Was One Of The First Inductees Into The Rock 'N Roll Hall Of Fame At Its Inaugural. He Received The Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. In 1987, He Was Awarded The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1991, He Was Inducted Into The Rhythm & Blues Foundation.
Ray Charles Died June 10, 2004, Of Liver Cancer, At His Home In Beverly Hills, California.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into it." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.