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Ray Charles was commemorated on September 23, 2013, his 83rd birthday, with a United States Postal Service Music Icons Forever ® Stamp. Concord Records celebrates the occasion with the release of Ray Charles Forever, a deluxe CD/DVD collection on September 24th

Ray Charles Forever features 12 remastered classics and unique gems including "A Song For You," "Ring Of Fire," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Imagine," "America the Beautiful," and a previously unreleased recording of "They Can't Take That Away From Me."

The 20-minute DVD features rare live performances of "Imagine" (Goodwill Games, 1998), "They Can't Take That Away From Me" (Earth, 1992), and "A Song For You" (North Sea Jazz Fest, 1997) along with interview segments culled from the BBC's "Live In London" (1986) and Norman Seeff's "The Session Project" (1985).

During a career that spanned some 58 years, Charles performed a total of more than 10,000 concerts, and starred on over 100 albums, many of them top sellers in a variety of musical genres. He received the Lifetime Achievement and the President's Merit Award, is a recipient of the Presidential Medal For the Arts, Kennedy Center Honors, and France's Legion of Honor, received the NAACP Image Awards "Hall of Fame Award in 2004, and is one of the original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He appeared in movies such as "The Blues Brothers," and starred in commercials for Coca-Cola, Diet Pepsi and California Raisins, among numerous others. In 2004, the biopic Ray was released for the world to see the historic life and times of the "Genius." The movie garnered six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and Jamie Foxx took home the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Ray. Charles' last public performance was on July 20, 2003, in Alexandria, VA. In 1998, Charles received the Polar Music Award, an award given for significant achievements in music.

Referring to his gift Charles said, "I don't call myself a blues singer or a jazz singer or a country singer. I just call myself a singer that can sing the blues, a singer that can sing jazz, a singer that knows how to sing country music, but in my own way."

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 16:05

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