Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer.
Ray started to lose his sight at the age of four or five and was blind by the age of seven due to glaucoma. Ray pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into his music. Ray attended school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine.
Ray, a biopic portraying his life and career between the mid-1930s and 1979, was released in October 2004, starring Jamie Foxx as Charles. Foxx won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor for the role.
He died at his home in Beverly Hills, California of complications resulting from liver failure on June 10, 2004, at the age of 73.