Charles, Ray

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Charles, Ray

biographical name

(born Sept. 23, 1930, Albany, Ga., U.S.—died June 10, 2004, Beverly Hills, Calif.) U.S. pianist, singer, and songwriter. His family moved to Greenville, Fla., where he began his musical career at age 5 in a neighbourhood café. By age 7 he had completely lost his sight. He learned to write scores in Braille. Orphaned at 15, he left school to play professionally. He recorded “Mess Around” and “It Should've Been Me” in 1952–53, and his arrangement for Guitar Slim's “The Things That I Used to Do” became a million-seller. Combining blues and gospel music influences, a distinctive raspy voice, and liquid phrasing, Charles later had hits with “What'd I Say,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and “Hit the Road, Jack.” His Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962), marking unusual territory for a black performer, sold more than a million copies. He received 13 Grammy Awards, including a lifetime achievement award in 1987. Charles was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Variants of CHARLES, RAY

Charles, Ray orig. Ray Charles Robinson

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