In 2004, Rolling Stone voted Ray the 10th Greatest Artist of All Time. In 2008, he was voted the second greatest singer of the rock era by the same magazine.
Ray's biggest hit in the United States was his 1962 release "I Can't Stop Loving You". The single, which was from one of his most popular albums of all-time, Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
In 1961, before civil rights became a full-fledged national issue, he refused to play a sold-out concert in Memphis, Tenn., when he learned that the audience would be racially segregated. When the management integrated the audience, Charles gave the concert.
In 1981 Ray was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording. His star is located at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
In February of 2009, Representative Charles Rangel reintroduced legislation to award Ray Charles the Congressional Gold Medal. It is at least the third time Congressman Rangel has tried to get this legislation passed.
In 1994, Ray received the Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind.
Ray received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1987 Grammy Awards ceremony.
Ray was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 as part of the hall's inaugural 10-member class.
Frank Sinatra tagged Ray with the "Genius" label, calling him "the only genius in the business".
Despite his blindness, he was a chess-playing fanatic who was known to set up games between sets and concerts.
He had 12 children between seven woman.
He was married twice.
He was able to go to a viewing of his move Ray but died before it was released in theaters.
He died in his home in Beverly Hills, California.
He popularized the catchphrase "You Got the Right One, Baby!"
He did Diet Pepsi commercials.
He made an appearance in The Blues Brothers.
He had been addicted to heroin since he had been 17.
in 1965 he was arrested for possession of heroin.
Jamie Foxx played him in the biographical film Ray.
His first successful song was "Mess Around".
When he entered showbiz his name was shortened from Ray Robinson Charles to just Ray Charles.
He played the piano.
The first club he preformed at was The Rocking Chair.
His dad died two years after his mom did.
His mom died while he was at school.
He went to the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida
Many have said that his blindness was caused by glaucoma.
He went blind at the age of seven.
Ray started to lose his sight after his brother died.
When he was five his little brother George drowned in a bathtub.
Ray Charles song What'd I Say is ranked #43 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll.
Ray: What is a soul? It`s like electricity - we don`t really know what it is, but it`s a force that can light a room.
Ray: I'd like to think that when I sing a song, I can let you know all about the heartbreak, struggle, lies and kicks in the ass I've gotten over the years for being black and everything else, without actually saying a word about it.
Ray: When I sing "I Can't Stop Loving You," I'm not singin' it country-western. I'm singin' it like me. But I think the words to country songs are very earthy like the blues, see, very down. They're not as dressed up, and the people are very honest and say, "Look, I miss you, darlin', so I went out and I got drunk in this bar." That's the way you say it. Where in Tin Pan Alley will say, "Oh, I missed you darling, so I went to this restaurant and I sat down and I had dinner for one." That's cleaned up now, you see? But country songs and the blues is like it is.
Ray: My version of "Georgia" became the state song of Georgia. That was a big thing for me, man. It really touched me. Here is a state that used to lynch people like me suddenly declaring my version of a song as its state song. That is touching.
Ray: Affluence separates people. Poverty knits 'em together. You got some sugar and I don't; I borrow some of yours. Next month you might not have any flour; well, I'll give you some of mine.
Ray: (on going blind) It didn't happen like one day I could see 100 miles and the next day I couldn't see an inch. It was, each day for two years my sight was less and less. My mother was always real with me, and bein' poor, you got to pretty much be honest with your children. We couldn't afford no specialists. I was lucky I could get a doctor - that's a specialist.
Ray: I never came up with that "genius" tag. I'm a utility man. I can do a lot of little things well. But I copied … and then innovated.
Ray: Now am I supposed to believe that the good Lord spared me so I could have me some hit records, make me some money and get me some more pussy? Well, that don't make sense, because God sure didn't save Sam Cooke. Sam was fucking the wrong girl in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he got shot dead. Why Sam and not me? Church folks said 'cause Sam traded in gospel for the devil's music. Well, I did the same. No, man, you got to believe that God works in mysterious ways. I've been blessed.
Ray: (when he first learned he had cancer) Death is the one motherfucker that ain't ever going away.
Ray: I never considered myself part of rock 'n' roll. My stuff was more adult. It was more difficult for teenagers to relate to; my stuff was filled with more despair than anything you'd associate with rock 'n' roll. Since I couldn't see people dancing, I didn't write jitterbugs or twists. I wrote rhythms that moved me. My style required pure heart singing,