We are very pleased this morning to announce that the third stamp in the new Music Icons series will celebrate the life and music of Ray Charles (1930–2004).
This extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist, blind since childhood, went beyond category, blending blues, gospel, country, jazz, and soul music in a unique and highly influential pop music style. His many hits include “I’ve Got a Woman,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”
For the stamp, art director Ethel Kessler chose a photograph of Ray Charles taken by Yves Carrère later in the inspiring performer’s career.
Looking back over the course of his long career, there seemed to be little Charles couldn’t do. His work spanned almost the entire breadth of American music and brought him 17 Grammy Awards, plus an award for lifetime achievement in 1987. His many other prizes include the National Medal of Arts, awarded in 1993, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He performed at the White House many times for several different presidents.
The Ray Charles stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate. A release date has not yet been set.
Have a favorite Ray Charles song? Tell us about it in the comments!