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Ray Charles

The Genius Hits the Road

The Genius Hits the Road (1960)

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volume 2

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volume 2 (1962)

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)

True to Life

True to Life (1977)

The Spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas (1985)

My World

My World (1993)

The Genius of Ray Charles

The Genius of Ray Charles (1959)

Friendship

Friendship (2000)

Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again

Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again (2002)

Genius & Friends

Genius & Friends (2005)



Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), 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 was blind from the age of seven.

He pioneered the genre of soul music during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic Records. He also contributed to the integration of country music, rhythm and blues and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company.

Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was also influenced by country, jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues artists of the day, including Louis Jordan and Charles Brown. He became friends with Quincy Jones. Their friendship lasted until the end of Charles’s life. Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles "the only true genius in show business," although Charles downplayed this notion.

In 2002, Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and number two on their November 2008 list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time." Billy Joel observed, "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley".