What an incredible loss...
Ray Charles, the innovative singer and pianist whose combinations of blues and gospel pioneered soul music and earned him the nickname "the Genius," has died. He was 73.
Charles died at 11:35 a.m. (2:35 p.m. ET), in Beverly Hills, California, his publicist said. The cause was of complications from liver disease.
Charles was a towering figure in pop music history. The term "genius" came from Frank Sinatra -- no slouch in the singing department himself -- and others called him "the greatest pop singer of his generation" and "a true American musical original."
It was Charles' blending of gospel and blues music on the 1954 recording of "I Got a Woman" -- created at a small radio station studio in Atlanta, Georgia -- which is often credited as the beginning of soul music.
The race is back!
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