In the 1950s, he broke down the barriers of sacred and secular music, fused elements of gospel, jazz and blues together and mixed it with a fiery style that would come to be known as soul music.
He was also one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Ray Charles number 10 on their list of "The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and voted him number two on their November 2008 list of "The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time."
He won 12 competitive Grammys, earned three Emmy nominations, scored the Kennedy Center Honors, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Arts and inductions into the Rock, Jazz and Rhythm and Blues halls of fame.
Ray Charles’ recording of “Georgia On My Mind” was made the official state song for Georgia in 1979. He also appeared at two Presidential inaugurations, the first in 1985 when he performed for Ronald Reagan's second inauguration, and then in 1993, when he performed for Bill Clinton's first inauguration.
Image from here.
He received The Kennedy Center Honors for exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts in 1986 from President Ronald Reagan and the National Medal of Arts in 1993 from President William Clinton. In addition to winning 17 Grammy Awards, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.
In 1986, Mr. Charles created what is now known as The Ray Charles Foundation which is dedicated to providing support in the area of hearing disorders and the empowerment of young people through education by offering foundation support to educational institutions and non-profit education programs. The vision of The Ray Charles Foundation is to instill in the youth of America that “there is no challenge too great one cannot overcome.” Source
I couldn't find a video of Ray Charles singing with Kermit but I did find a great video that
I am sure Ray Charles would have loved. This video was made for earth day by the person behind the cute blog, Daily Puglet, that features the greenest pug I have ever seen in my life!
Please enjoy Ray Charles' rendition of 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'
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Best wishes and I hope you have a great week,