What is Ray Charles Net Worth?

Ray Charles net worth is US $ 75 Million as of Jan 2023.

Net WorthUS$ 75 Million
Born:September 23, 1930
DeathJune 10, 2004 (at the age of 73)
Birth  NameRay Charles Robinson Sr.
Country of OriginThe United States
Marital StatusMarried
SpouseEileen Williams (m. 1951; div. 1952)
Della Beatrice Howard (m. 1955; div. 1977)
ChildrenRay Charles Robinson, Jr., Charles Wayne Hendricks, Sheila Raye Charles,
Evelyn Robinson, Ryan Corey Robinson den Bok, Vincent Kotchounian,
Alexandra Bertrand, Reatha Butler, Raenee Robinson, Robyn Moffett,
Reverend Robert Robinson, David Robinson
Source of WealthSinger-songwriter, Musician, Jazz Pianist, Composer, Artist, Actor,
Film Score Composer, Music Arranger, and Music artist
Famous ForAmerican Pianist, Singer, Composer, and Bandleader


Ray Charles Robinson, Sr. is an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and alto saxophonist. He was commonly referred to as “The Genius” by his contemporaries and is regarded as one of the most well-known and significant vocalists in history.

While talking to friends and other musicians, he frequently used the nickname “Brother Ray. “Charles lost his sight as a toddler, possibly from glaucoma. By fusing blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel music traditions into the music he recorded for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, Charles helped to establish the soul music genre. He contributed to the fusion of country music, rhythm, blues, and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, notably with his two Modern Sounds albums.

Charles was one of the first black performers to receive artistic control from a major record label while he was with ABC. The first of Charles’ three career No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, “Georgia On My Mind,” was released in 1960. His first album to reach the top of the Billboard 200 was Contemporary Sounds In Country And Western Music, released in 1962. With 44 hits on the US R&B singles chart, 11 singles on the Hot 100 singles list, and 2 singles on the Hot Country singles charts, Charles had multiple singles that reached the Top 40 on various Billboard charts.

Charles listed Nat King Cole as his main inspiration, while Louis Jordan and Charles Brown also impacted his music. He was Quincy Jones’s lifelong friend and occasionally occasional business partner. Ray Charles downplayed the idea that he was “the sole true genius in show business,” as described by Frank Sinatra. “This may seem like heresy, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley,” stated Billy Joel. Charles was awarded the Polar Music Prize, the National Medal of Arts, and the Kennedy Center Honors for his contributions to music.

In 1986, he was among the first to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to receiving 10 of his records into the Grammy Hall of Fame, he has received 18 Grammy Awards—including 5 posthumously—and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. Charles was named No. 10 by Rolling Stone on their list of the top 100 artists of all time and No. 2 on their list of the top 100 singers.  He received inductions into both the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2022.



Charles had a top-twenty hit with another ballad, “Here We Go Again.”


Charles left ABC Records and recorded several albums on his label, Crossover Records.


Ray Charles was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement and presented with the Golden Plate Award and the Academy of Achievement gold medal.


Charles was among the first musicians born in the state to be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.


Charles performed in the musical film The Blues Brothers.


Charles was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Charles participated in the music recording and video “We Are the World,” a charity single recorded by the supergroup United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa.


Charles was one of the inaugural inductees at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Charles was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.


Charles recorded a cover of the Southern All Stars’ “Itoshi no Ellie” for a Japanese TV advertisement for the Suntory brand, releasing it in Japan as “Ellie My Love,” where it reached No. 3 on its Oricon chart.


The University of South Florida gave Charles an honorary doctorate of fine arts.


Charles was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and was presented with the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement during the 1991 UCLA Spring Sing.


Charles was awarded the National Medal of Arts.


Charles was awarded the Polar Music Prize, together with Ravi Shankar, in Stockholm, Sweden.


Morehouse College honored Charles with the Candle Award for Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Entertainment.


Charles played and lost to the American grandmaster and former U.S. champion Larry Evans.


Charles presented Van Morrison with Morrison’s award upon being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the two sang Morrison’s song “Crazy Love.”


Ray Charles was honored with a Google Doodle on his 74th birthday.


Ray, a biopic portraying his life and career between the mid-1930s and 1979, was released in October 2004, starring Jamie Foxx as Charles. Foxx won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor for the role.


Ray Charles Plaza was opened in Albany, Georgia, with a revolving, lighted bronze sculpture of Charles seated at a piano.


Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building opened at Morehouse.


The United States Postal Service issued a forever stamp honoring Charles, as part of its Musical Icons series, on 23 September.


Charles was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.


U.S. President Obama said, “Ray Charles’s version of “America the Beautiful” will always be the most patriotic piece of music ever performed.”

Early Life

Ray Charles Robinson was born September 23, 1930, in Albany, Georgia. When he was three, he first noticed a musical interest after watching Pitman play the upright piano at Pitman’s Red Wing Cafe. Pitman gave Charles instructions on how to play the upright piano. Unfortunately, George, Ray’s younger brother, died at age four. Charles lost his vision around the age of 5. Charles became completely blind to glaucoma before the age of eight.

Through her local connections, Aretha, Charles’ mother, found a school willing to accept a blind Black student. From 1937 to 1945, he studied braille music and classical piano at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. This school was where he sharpened his musical skills. When he was 14 years old, his mother died. Ray was devastated by the deaths of his brother and sister and decided to stop school and move to Jacksonville, Florida, with Charles Wayne Powell, a friend from his family.


Charles started playing the piano for bands at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla in Jacksonville and was paid $4 per night. He began establishing himself as a talented musician in the neighborhood, but the jobs didn’t come frequently enough for him to develop a following. So at 16, he moved to Orlando, where he lived in poverty and regularly skipped meals.

In 1947, he moved to Tampa and started playing piano for Charles Brantley’s Honey Dippers. After his first four albums, “Walking and Talking,” “Wondering and Wondering,” “Why Did You Go?” and “I Found My Baby There,” were released, he decided to go from Florida to Seattle to form his band. His first significant hit, “Confession Blues,” was recorded by the McSon Trio, a group he founded in April 1949. Also, he wrote music for performers like Dizzy Gillespie and Cole Porter.

When his first two songs were victorious, Charles departed for Los Angeles in 1950 and spent the following few years exploring with Lowell Fulson as his musical director. After signing on with Swing Time Records, Ray released two additional songs, “Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand” in 1951 and “Kiss Me Baby” in 1952, reaching the top ten, peaking at Nos. 5 and 8, respectively. In 1953, upon his contract with Atlantic Records, he got his first sizable hit single.

In addition to being well-liked today, “Mess About” was well-liked when it was first published. After that, Charles continued to develop and was eventually one of the first artists to achieve true crossover success in pop music. In 1954, Charles released “I’ve Got a Lady,” which went on to become another massive hit and reached its R&B chart apex at No. 2. The following year, “This Little Girl of Mine” and “Fool for You” became huge singles for him. He performed at venues like New York’s Carnegie Hall and Apollo Theater by 1958.

In 1959, “What’d I Say,” another Ray classic, reached its highest point at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B Chart. The song, which peaked at number one on the pop charts, marked the height of his fame at Atlantic. Gospel, jazz, blues, and Hispanic music were all combined. He released three more CDs for the business later that year in addition to his debut country single. Many significant labels contacted Ray as his contract was about to end in 1959. He signed a contract with ABC-Paramount in November 1959, which guaranteed him a $50,000 yearly advance and higher royalties than he had ever seen at Atlantic.

His ABC-Paramount debut album, Georgia on My Mind, was successful in 1960. He received significant acclaim for the song and four Grammy awards. In the end, the landing was trouble-free and safe for the aircraft. In 1964, Ray’s third heroin-related arrest resulted in the suspension of his professional life. After being on parole for a year and receiving therapy, he returned to the charts in 1966.

However, Charles’ return to the top of the charts was fleeting, and by the 1970s, his songs were receiving very little to no radio broadcasts. Ray’s radio popularity had declined due to the emergence of psychedelic rock and more complex varieties of rock and R&B. He left ABC in 1974 and started making CDs for his own company, Crossover Records.

In 1979, “Georgia on My Mind” was chosen as the state song of Georgia. He started recording many country albums after inking a contract with Columbia Records in 1983 and working with Willie Nelson on several successful singles. Ray was the main speaker at the 2003 White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, DC. He made his final public appearance on April 30, 2004, during the dedication of his recording studio as a Los Angeles historical landmark.

His career, however, extended beyond music; he went on to host Saturday Night Live and feature in The Blues Brothers. The Academy Award-winning film Ray showed that his personal life was not without strife, but his music will be remembered in the future more fondly.


Here are some of the best highlights of Ray Charles’s career:

  • The American Academy of Achievement honored Ray Charles by inducting him and presenting him with the Golden Plate Award and a gold medal.
  • Charles was the first musician born in Georgia to be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
  • Charles won 17 Grammy Awards from his 37 nominations.
  • Upon his passing, Charles was bestowed an honorary degree by Dillard University. In addition, to honor his memory, he endowed the university with a professorship of African American culinary history, the first of its kind in the nation.
  • Ray Charles was honored with a Google Doodle on what would have been his 74th birthday.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama said, “Ray Charles’s version of “America the Beautiful” will always be in my view the most patriotic piece of music ever performed”

Favorite Quotes from Ray Charles

Favorite Quote 1 from Ray Charles

“Dreams, if they’re any good, are always a little bit crazy. ”

Ray Charles
Favorite Quote 2 from Ray Charles

“Live each day like it’s your last, ’cause one day you gonna be right.”

Ray Charles
Favorite Quote 3 from Ray Charles

“I never wanted to be famous; I only wanted to be great.”

Ray Charles
Favorite Quote 4 from Ray Charles

“I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water.”

Ray Charles
Favorite Quote 5 from Ray Charles

“I really feel that if you’re gonna be good, you gotta practice… Practice whatever the hell you do.”

Ray Charles

Key Life Lesson from Ray Charles

Now we have an overview of Ray Charles’s net worth, work done, biography, and early life. First, let’s glance at some of his lessons.

Follow Your Dreams

Ray Charles followed his dream to become a professional musician, despite being blind since the age of seven. He worked hard to develop his talent and was eventually recognized as one of the most excellent musicians ever.

Overcome Adversity

Despite the many obstacles he faced in life, Ray Charles persevered. He faced racism, poverty, and disability, but he never let these things stop him from pursuing his dream.

Believe in Yourself

Despite the odds against him, Ray Charles believed in himself and never gave up. He knew he had the talent and ability to make it in the music industry, and he did.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the net worth of Ray Charles?

Ray‘s total net worth is around $75 Million as of Jan 2023.

What was the age of Ray Charles when he died?

Ray Charles passed away at the age of 73 on 10 June 2004.

Was Ray Charles completely blind?

At seven, Ray was diagnosed with complete blindness, most likely caused by glaucoma. However, his declining vision had started at a much earlier age.


Ray Charles Robinson, Sr. was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and alto saxophonist known as “The Genius” and “Brother Ray.” He helped to establish the soul music genre by fusing blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel music traditions. He was among the first black performers to receive artistic control from a major record label and had three career No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

His first album, Contemporary Sounds In Country And Western Music, reached the top of the Billboard 200. Ray Charles was an influential musician whom Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, and Charles Brown influenced. He was awarded the Polar Music Prize, National Medal of Arts, and Kennedy Center Honors and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In addition, he was named No. 10 by Rolling Stone and No. 2 on their list of the top 100 singers.

Ray Charles’s net worth is US $ 75 Million as of Jan 2023.

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