Ray Charles - 23 September 1930- 10 June 2004

Ray Charles Robinson, known professionally as Ray Charles, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray". He was often referred to as "The Genius" Charles started going blind at the age of 5. At 7, he was completely blind. He pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950's by combining blues, rhythm & blues and gospel styles into the music he recorded. While he was with ABC records, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company.

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