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R.I.P. Ray Charles


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Grammy-Winner Ray Charles Dies


The Associated Press


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Ray Charles, the Grammy-winning crooner credited with creating American soul music with a blend of gospel and blues in such crowd-pleasers as "What'd I Say" and "I Got A Woman" and heartfelt ballads like "Georgia on My Mind," died Thursday. He was 73.


Charles died at 11:35 a.m., surrounded by family and friends, said spokesman Jerry Digney.


Charles last public appearance was alongside Clint Eastwood on April 30, when the city of Los Angeles designated the singers studios an historic landmark.


Blind by age 7 and an orphan at 15, Charles spent his life shattering any notion of musical boundaries and defying easy definition. A gifted pianist and saxophonist, he dabbled in country, jazz, big band and blues, and put his stamp on it all with a deep, warm voice roughened by heartbreak from a hardscrabble childhood in the segregated South.


"His sound was stunning - it was the blues, it was R&B, it was gospel, it was swing - it was all the stuff I was listening to before that but rolled into one amazing, soulful thing," singer Van Morrison told Rolling Stone magazine in April 2004.


Charles won nine of his 12 Grammy Awards between 1960 and 1966, including the best R&B recording three consecutive years ("Hit the Road Jack," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Busted").

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Guest marlins02

ray has to get at least a spot, i understand reagan was a president but ray should get at least a corner somewhere on the cover.

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