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Ray Charles

Age: 73

singer, pianist, and composer whose soulful tunes combined gospel, blues, pop, country, and jazz. A pioneer in rock music whose songs ranged from pop standards to love songs to bebop, Charles, who was blind since age 7, paved the way for such artists as Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Van Morrison. He won 12 Grammy Awards. His hits include “Georgia on My Mind,” “Drown in My Own Tears,” and “A Fool for You.”

Died: Beverly Hills, Calif., June 10, 2004

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