Ray Charles died on June 10, 2004 due to acute liver disease at his home in Los Angeles, California, surrounded by family and friends. He was 73 years old. His funeral took place on June 18, 2004, at the First AME Church in Los Angeles, with musical peers such as Little Richard in attendance. His body was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery.
Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer-songwriter, musician and composer known as Ray Charles. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossoversuccess on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company.
The influences upon his music were mainly jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, and country artists of the day such as Art Tatum, Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, Charles Brown, and Louis Armstrong. His playing reflected influences from country blues, barrelhouse and stride piano styles.
Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" in 2004, and number two on their November 2008 list of "100 Greatest Singers of All Time".
Artwork by Jef Aerosol
Listen to Ray Charles - "I Got A Woman"