People spend most their lives in schools trying get letters at the end of their names, and titles like, ‘Doctor’. The man born on this day in 1930 earned his title, Genius, by doing what he did best – making music. Ray Charles had one of the most recognizable voices in American music history, it was Sinatra that most famously gave him the title of ‘genius’, Billy Joel said that Charles was more important than Elvis. he played presidential inaugurations, huge sporting events, including the World Series, and Wrestlemania, sold millions of records, was a spokesperson for Pepsi, his song, ‘Georgia on my Mind’ became the official state song for the state of Georgia, he’s received a number of lifetime achievement awards, his face was on an US stamp, and there are many streets, buildings, and places named after him.
His life, like any musical genius had its struggles as well, he lost a brother at a very young, he fought drug addiction, and had trouble keeping honest in his relationships, he was married twice, and had 12 children with ten different women. Despite all of his struggles, there was no denying his ability behind a piano, and his ability to make absolutely terrific music. This was considered his biggest crossover hit, and can stand against any song composed today. It’s from a performance in 2000, at the Olympia in Paris, France. He was 70 years old, and would pass away from liver disease a mere four years later.