On this day (September 23) in 1930, a music legend was born.
Ray Charles, a musical “genius” who was known for blending music styles, mastered blues, gospel and country music and soared in all of it in the 1950s and beyond. With hits like “Hit the Road Jack,” “Georgia On My Mind” and more, it was timeless music that would go on to shape soul music as we know it today.
He was one of the first people ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and had been touring up until 2003 when he had to undergo hip replacement surgery. He passed a year later on June 10, 2004 from liver disease.
“I can’t retire from music any more than I can retire from my liver. You’d have to remove the music from me surgically—like you were taking out my appendix.”
Over the course of his career, Ray Charles recorded more than 60 albums and performed over 10,000 concerts.
Below is a look at how his music over the years inspired other artists—so much so, they sampled it.
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