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Ray Charles

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Born: 23 September 1930 in Albany, GA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis...
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