Ray Charles was one of the 20th century’s legendary musicians, combining elements of jazz, gospel, and rhythm-and-blues to create a whole new kind of music, we now know as soul. His impressive career spanned over 50 years and left an incredible mark all over the world.
Charles was born on September 23, 1930, in Albany, Georgia, and started playing the piano before he was five. At age six, he contracted glaucoma which eventually left him blind. However, Charles didn’t let his blindness get in the way of his love for music. The disability meant that he had to use his memory instead of score sheets, and his gift of perfect pitch. He was known to often say “I was born with music inside me. That’s the only explanation I know.”
Ray Charles's contribution to music is indispensable. Among the awards he received were 17 Grammys, Presondemt’s Merit Award, National Medal of the Arts, and the list goes on. One of his warmest compliments was from fellow musician Frank Sinatra who called him “the only true genius in show business”.
So in case you want to get reacquainted with this great artist or enjoy some of your long-time favorite songs by him, we put together this playlist of his absolute greatest hits.
Cover Image Source: Mallory1180 / Wikimedia Commons