Gone, but never forgotten. Ray Charles left a legacy behind that no one will forget. He was a founding father of soul music and responsible for countless hits that we all know today.
Ray was born on September 23rd, 1930 in Albany, Georgia. He rose to fame during the 1950s by combining blues, gospel, and rhythm and blues. He was named number ten on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" and number two on their "100 Greatest Singers of All Time".
Other musicians think very highly of Ray. Billy Joel once said, "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley."
According to History.com, Willie Nelson thought Ray, "did more for country music than any other living human being." Willie and Ray were good friends and duetted on occasion.
One of our favorite performances of them together is "Georgia On My Mind".
One huge reason Willie said those things about Ray is because of his 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which was the biggest-selling album of 1962. The album consisted of Ray covering the best country songs of the previous 20 years.
His version of Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You" held the number one spot on the singles chart for 14 weeks and eventually became the biggest pop hit of Ray's iconic career.
His final album, which was released two months after his death in June of 2004, consists of duets with various admirers like BB King, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Norah Jones, and more! The album won eight Grammy Awards, which proves what an impact Ray had on the music industry, even after he passed.
Take a look at a live performance of his huge hit "I Can't Stop Loving You" below.
Interested in becoming a partner?
Contact us for more info.