Ray Charles

Singer, Songwriter, Pianist
"I was born with music inside me. That's the only explanation I know of," Ray Charles wrote in his 1978 autobiography, Brother Ray. "Music was one of my parts...like my blood... Like my blood. It was a force ... Read more »
Born: 09/22/1930 in Albany, Georgia, USA

Filmography

Actor (90)

The 35th Annual NAACP Image Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Tom Dowd and the Language of Music 2004 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

CMT Crossroads 2002 (Tv Show)

Performer

Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Popular Song: Soundtrack of the Century 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Super Bowl XXXV 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ninth Annual Trumpet Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

A Capitol Fourth 2000 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

ABC 2000 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 72nd Annual Academy Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Little Jimmy Scott 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Ray Charles in Concert 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Nanny 1987 - 1994, 1996 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Class of '99 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Quincy Jones -- The First 50 Years 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Goodwill Games Opening Celebration 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Bill Clinton: Rock 'n' Roll President 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Caesars Palace 30th Anniversary Celebration 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1997 ESPY Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The John Larroquette Show 1987 - 1992, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

Wings 1987 - 1994, 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

America's Music: The Roots of Country 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Joe Cocker: Have a Little Faith 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Rock & Roll 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Sinatra: 80 Years My Way 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Spy Hard 1996 (Movie)

Bus Driver (Actor)

The 27th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Aretha Franklin: Going Home 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Horatio Alger Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Love Affair 1994 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Newport Jazz '93 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Stevie Wonder 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1994 World Music Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Atlantic Records Story 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Essence Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Apollo Theater Hall of Fame 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

A Party For Richard Pryor 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Ray Charles: 50 Years in Music, Uh-Huh! 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Super Dave 1987 - 1992 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 25th Montreux Music Festival 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Super Dave Special 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Tribute to John Lennon 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Listen Up 1990 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The 32nd Annual Grammy Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Limit Up 1989 (Movie)

Julius (Actor)

Sesame Street... 20 and Still Counting 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Show 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Las Vegas: An All Star 75th Anniversary 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Willie Nelson, Texas Style 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Evening at Pops (06/20/87) 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Beach Boys -- 25 Years Together 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Walt Disney World's 15th Birthday Celebration 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Fats Domino & Friends 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The 28th Annual Grammy Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Statue of Liberty 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Salute to Lady Liberty 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

A Special Kenny Rogers 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Country Comes Home 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Fifty Years of Country Music 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Lynda Carter's Celebration 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

The Blues Brothers 1980 (Movie)

Ray (Actor)

The Kenny Rogers Special 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Johnny Cash: Spring Fever 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Second Barry Manilow Special 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebration: The American Spirit 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Cotton Club '75 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Duke Ellington... We Love You Madly 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

It's What's Happening, Baby! 1964 - 1965 (TV Show)

Actor

The World of Jim Henson (TV Show)

Actor

Willie Nelson: My Life (TV Show)

Actor
Music (87)

I Am Ali 2014 (Movie)

("Moon Over Miami") (Song Performer)

Trouble with the Curve 2012 (Movie)

("You Are My Sunshine") (Song Performer)

The Dilemma 2011 (Movie)

("Sticks And Stones") (Song Performer)

The Help 2011 (Movie)

("Hallelujah I Love Her So") (Song Performer)

The Help 2011 (Movie)

("Hallelujah I Love Her So") (Song)

An Education 2009 (Movie)

("Tell The Truth") (Song Performer)

He's Just Not That Into You 2009 (Movie)

("Sweet Sixteen Bars") (Song)

Made of Honor 2008 (Movie)

("Gold Digger") (Song)

The Express 2008 (Movie)

"What'd I Say" (Song Performer)

The Express 2008 (Movie)

"What'd I Say" (Song)

Iconoclasts 2007 (Tv Show)

Song Performer

Crossover 2006 (Movie)

("Epitaph Movement") (Song)

Failure to Launch 2006 (Movie)

("Hit the Road Jack") (Song Performer)

Inside Man 2006 (Movie)

("Gold Digger") (Song)

Ray 2004 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song Performer)

Ray 2004 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song)

Ray 2004 (Movie)

Piano("Route 66") (Performer)

Ray 2004 (Movie)

Original and New Recordings (Original Music)

The Last Shot 2004 (Movie)

("Let The Good Times Roll") (Song Performer)

Elf 2003 (Movie)

("Winter Wonderland") (Song Performer)

National Security 2003 (Movie)

("One Of These Days") (Song)

The Blues 2003 (Tv Show)

Song

Willie Nelson & Friends: Live and Kickin' 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Song Performer

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2002 (Movie)

("Lonely Avenue") (Song Performer)

Showtime 2002 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song Performer)

Showtime 2002 (Movie)

(Song)

Don't Say A Word 2001 (Movie)

("Makin' Whoopee (Live)") (Song Performer)

Where the Heart Is 2000 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song)

Designing Women 1987 - 1994, 1996 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Theme Song

Liberty Heights 1999 (Movie)

("I Got a Woman") (Song Performer)

The Hurricane 1999 (Movie)

("Hard Times No One Knows" "A Fool for You") (Song Performer)

The Hurricane 1999 (Movie)

(Song)

The Parent Trap 1998 (Movie)

("Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye") (Song Performer)

To Life! America Celebrates Israel's 50th 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Music

Eve's Bayou 1997 (Movie)

("Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying") (Song Performer)

"We Are the World": A 10th Anniversary Tribute 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Song Performer

The Favor 1994 (Movie)

("Big Bad Love") (Song Performer)

Another Stakeout 1993 (Movie)

("Love Has a Mind of its Own") (Song Performer)

Calendar Girl 1993 (Movie)

(Song)

Calendar Girl 1993 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song Performer)

For Love Or Money 1993 (Movie)

("Let Me Take Over") (Song Performer)

Groundhog Day 1993 (Movie)

("You Don't Know Me") (Song Performer)

Heart and Souls 1993 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song Performer)

Heart and Souls 1993 (Movie)

(Song)

Rookie of the Year 1993 (Movie)

("You Got the Right One Baby, Uh Huh") (Song Performer)

Sleepless in Seattle 1993 (Movie)

("Over the Rainbow") (Song Performer)

The Sandlot 1993 (Movie)

song arranger (Song)

The Sandlot 1993 (Movie)

("America The Beatiful") (Song Performer)

Love Potion #9 1992 (Movie)

("Born To Lose") (Song Performer)

Malcolm X 1992 (Movie)

("That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven)") (Song Performer)

Night and the City 1992 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song Performer)

Night and the City 1992 (Movie)

(Song)

White Men Can't Jump 1992 (Movie)

(Song)

White Men Can't Jump 1992 (Movie)

("Careless Love") (Song Performer)

The Butcher's Wife 1991 (Movie)

("Just For a Thrill") (Song Performer)

The Fisher King 1991 (Movie)

("Hit the Road, Jack") (Song Performer)

Joe Versus the Volcano 1990 (Movie)

("Ol' Man River") (Song Performer)

Rocky V 1990 (Movie)

("Winter Wonderland") (Song Performer)

Scorpio Rising 1990 (Movie)

(Song Performer)

Snoops 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Song Performer

The Best of Cinemax Sessions 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Song Performer

Beware of a Holy Whore 1989 (Movie)

(Music)

Black Rain 1989 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 1989 (Movie)

("That Spirit of Christmas") (Song Performer)

New York Stories 1989 (Movie)

song performer "The Right Time"(("Life Lessons")) (Song Performer)

The Dream Team 1989 (Movie)

("Hit the Road Jack") (Song Performer)

When Harry Met Sally... 1989 (Movie)

("Winter Wonderland") (Song Performer)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles 1987 (Movie)

("Mess Around") (Song Performer)

The Big Town 1987 (Movie)

("Drown in My Own Tears") (Song Performer)

Off Beat 1986 (Movie)

("Georgia on My Mind") (Song Performer)

The Flamingo Kid 1984 (Movie)

("Yes Indeed") (Song Performer)

The King of Comedy 1983 (Movie)

("Sweet Sixteen Bars") (Song Performer)

The King of Comedy 1983 (Movie)

(Song)

Four Friends 1981 (Movie)

("Georgia on My Mind") (Song Performer)

Gala 1981 (Movie)

(Danny Grossman Dance Company) (Music)

Any Which Way You Can 1980 (Movie)

("Beers to You") (Song Performer)

Cheech & Chong's Next Movie 1980 (Movie)

("Hit the Road Jack") (Song Performer)

Raging Bull 1980 (Movie)

songs("Tell the Truth" "Frenesi") (Song)

Raging Bull 1980 (Movie)

("Tell the Truth") (Song Performer)

The Hollywood Knights 1980 (Movie)

("What'd I Say") (Song Performer)

Cruisin' 1976 (Movie)

("Joy Ride") (Song)

Black Rodeo 1972 (Movie)

(Music)

In the Heat of the Night 1967 (Movie)

(Song Performer)

The Cincinnati Kid 1965 (Movie)

title song performer (Song Performer)

My House in Umbria (TV Show)

Song Performer

Three's Company (TV Show)

Theme Song Performer

Biography

"I was born with music inside me. That's the only explanation I know of," Ray Charles wrote in his 1978 autobiography, Brother Ray. "Music was one of my parts...like my blood... Like my blood. It was a force already with me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me, like food or water." As one of the most original American recording artists to emerge in the 20th century, Charles' music got into the blood of generations of admirers as well. His signature soul and R&B sounds-in such definitive Charles hits as "Georgia on My Mind," "You Don't Know Me," "Hit the Road Jack," "Unchain My Heart," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "What'd I Say"--converged with his personal image as an artist of prodigious talent and infectious good spirits to help him overcome his physical handicap-though that, too, contributed to his enduring and distinctive image as a pop culture icon.

Relationships

Alexandra

Daughter

Corey

Daughter

Retha

Daughter
named after Charles' mother

Robin

Daughter

Sheila

Daughter
born c. 1963 mother Sandra Jean Betts Charles contested paternity but court ordered him to pay support

Vincent

Son
born c. 1977 mother, Arlette Kotchounian

George

Brother
younger brother drowned when Ray was 5, an event Charles witnessed. George had fallen into a tub and Ray tried to pull him out, but he was too heavy

Della Howard

Wife
married April 5, 1955 divorced 1977

Bailey Robinson

Father
died by the time Charles turned 15

Aretha Robinson

Mother
worked in a sawmill died by the time Charles turned 15

Evelyn Robinson

Daughter
first child born c. 1950 mother, Louise Mitchell

Charles Robinson

Son
fourth son born c. 1959 mother, Margie Hendricks a member of the Raelets

David Robinson

Son
second son born c. 1958 mother, Della Bea Howard Robinson

Robert Robinson

Son
third son born c. 1960 mother, Della Bea Howard Robinson

Ray Charles Robinson Jr Co-Producer

Son
first son born c. 1955 mother, Della Bea Howard Robinson

Raenee Robinson-McClelan

Daughter
born c. 1961 mother, Mae Mosely Lyles a member of the Raelets

Elieen Williams

Wife
married July 31, 1951 divorced 1952

EDUCATION

St Augustine School for the Blind

St Augustine , Florida

Milestones

2004

Released final album "Genius Loves Company," a CD of duets with such performers as Elton John, Norah Jones and Willie Nelson is released a few months after his death; received seven Grammy nominations

2002

Released "Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again" which included a new version of his first big pop success, 'What I'd Say'

1990

Made appearances in the Diet Pepsi TV ads, along with his Rayettes; making a catchphrase of "You've got the right one baby, uh-huh."; was named the best commercial in the world

1988

Appeared for the first time with the New York City Ballet, which choreographed dances to some of his classics

1986

January, 1986, became one of the original inductees into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1985

Contributed to the historic "We Are The World" recording to benefit USA for Africa, which raised many millions to help feed Africa's starving

1984

Made a successful return to country music with the release of "Friendship," an album of duets

1982

Was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame

1980

Made a cameo appearance as himself in "The Blues Brothers" which starred John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd

1966

Released the hits "Crying Time," and his final R&B No. 1, "Let's Go Get Stoned"

1965

Contributed to the soundtracks of two major films, "The Cincinnati Kid" (1965) and "In The Heat of the Night" (1967)

1962

Released an album of country music, "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music," which broke new ground by combining soul and country music

1959

Had a top 10 hit, "What'd I Say," which led to an appearance at New York's Carnegie Hall, and a contract from ABC-Paramount Records

1953

Played piano on Guitar Slim's "The Things That I Used to Do," which sold more than a million copies

1952

Signed with Atlantic Records and began recording and touring regularly

1951

The McSon Trio released several singles including "Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand," which hit the U.S. R&B chart

1947

Formed the McSon Trio with two other musicians, a group modeled on the Nat King Cole jazz group; signed with the Swingtime label, and recorded their first single, "Confession Blues," which Charles wrote

1944

Left school at the age of 15, and joined dance bands in Florida

1937

Entered the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and Blind as a charity student, studied classical piano and clarinet, and learned to read and write music in Braille

Started playing the piano at the age of 3; began losing his sight about 5 years old and by the time he was 7, he was totally blind

Bonus Trivia

.

In 1964, Ray Charles was arrested on drug charges and checked into a rehab center for heroin addiction

.

"Music's been around a long time, and there's going to be music long after Ray Charles is dead... I just want to make my mark, leave something musically good behind. If it's a big record, that's the frosting on the cake, but music's the main meal."---Charles to the Washington Post 1983

.

In 1979, Ray Charles' classic rendition of "Georgia On My Mind" was approved as the official Song of the State of Georgia.

.

December 16, 1981, Ray Charles received a Star on Hollywood Boulevard's "Walk of Fame"

.

In April, 1987, Ray Charles announced the formation of the (Ray Charles) Robinson Foundation for Hearing Disorders, with a personal endowment of $1 million

.

"Mr. Charles was conscious and engaged almost to the end, and wanted the world to know that he will miss the chance to entertain his many family and friends, as he had done, up until last summer, for the past 58 years."---Charles' manager Joe Adams tvguide.com June 11, 2004

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