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Ray Charles At JVC Jazz Festival

Source: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images / Getty

On this day (September 23) in 1930, a music legend was born.

Ray Charles, a musical “genius” who was known for blending music styles, mastered blues, gospel and country music and soared in all of it in the 1950s and beyond. With hits like “Hit the Road Jack,” “Georgia On My Mind” and more, it was timeless music that would go on to shape soul music as we know it today. 

SEE ALSO: Quincy Jones Reveals Ray Charles Got Him Hooked On Heroin At 15

He was one of the first people ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and had been touring up until 2003 when he had to undergo hip replacement surgery. He passed a year later on June 10, 2004 from liver disease. 

“I can’t retire from music any more than I can retire from my liver. You’d have to remove the music from me surgically—like you were taking out my appendix.”


Over the course of his career, Ray Charles recorded more than 60 albums and performed over 10,000 concerts. 

Below is a look at how his music over the years inspired other artists—so much so, they sampled it. 

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Gone, But Not Forgotten: 9 Artists Who Sampled Ray Charles  was originally published on

1. Kanye West – Gold Digger (“I Got A Woman”)

2. D.R.A.M. – Cash Machine (“Hallelujah I Love Her So”)

3. Wiz Khalifa – See You Again (“Bye Bye Love”)

4. Field Mob/Ludacris – Georgia (“Georgia On My Mind”)

5. MC Lyte – Paper Thin (“Hit the Road Jack”)

6. Outkast – Spread (“Yes Indeed”)

7. – Mamma Mia (“What I’d Say”)

8. De La Soul – Brain Washed Follower (“Booty Butt”)

9. Common – Breaker 1/9 (“You Got the Right One, Baby, Uh-Huh”)