Not to be confused with the choral director, Ray Charles, of The Ray Charles Singers on "The Perry Como Show" (1948) (1955-1963). Ray actually performed, with The Ray Charles Singers as his chorus, along with "The Raelettes", on three episodes of "The Perry Como Show" from 1958-1961. "What I Say" was one of the songs performed. and that 1961 performance can be seen on the US Public Television Special, "Aretha Franklin Presents Soul Rewind" (2010) (TV).
Had three #1 pop hits with "Georgia On My Mind" (1960), "Hit the Road Jack" (1961), and "I Can't Stop Loving You" (1962).
His best known hit in America was his 1962 pop hit "I Can't Stop Loving You," which spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 charts.
He struggled with a heroin addiction for nearly 20 years before quitting cold turkey in 1965 after an arrest at the Boston airport.
He was a longtime supporter of Israel, and was named "Man of the Year" by the B'nai Brith in 1976.
Together with Julia Rinker Miller, sang the theme song of the television series "Three's Company" (1976) ("Come and Knock on Our Door").
In 1981 he was heavily criticized for touring South Africa.
One of the few black performers to have a No. 1 song on Billboard magazine's country charts, that being a 1985 duet with Willie Nelson called "Seven Spanish Angels".
Performed at Ronald Reagan's second inauguration in 1985 and also at Bill Clinton's first inauguration in 1993.
Charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 as part of the institution's inaugural 10-member class that included Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, James Brown and Jerry Lee Lewis. He also received the Recording Academy's lifetime achievement award at the 1987 Grammy Awards.
Awarded honorary doctor of humane letters by Wilberforce University, a private, historically black university in Wilberforce, Ohio (December 1999)
24 November 2003 - Underwent hip replacement surgery in L.A.
Had a hip replacement in the fall of 2003 in which he had to cancel his very first concert in 53 years of performing on the road.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 78-80. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
At the time of his death, a feature film originally titled "Unchain My Heart, the Ray Charles Story" (renamed for release as Ray (2004/I)), starring Jamie Foxx, was being completed.
Legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives to award him the Congressional Gold Medal. (February 2005)
Voted the second greatest singer of the rock era in a Rolling Stone magazine poll in 2008.
He was awarded the Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.