|Ray Charles Robinson was born on September 23, 1930, in Albany, Georgia.
Glaucoma caused Ray to loose his eyesight at the age of seven. He attended a special school for the blind. During school, he developed an interest in music.
As a teenager, Ray began performing professionally. In 1951, he released his first single.
In 1958, Charles had his first major hit with the song "What'd I Say." More hits followed including "You Are My Sunshine."
In the 1960s, Charles recorded "Georgia On My Mind" which became a hit then became the state song of Georgia. He also had success with his recording of "America the Beautiful."
Ray Charles was among the first inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when it was established in 1986.
Ray Charles died on June 10, 2004.