Ray Charles was hooked on heroin, arrested by federal agents, and once survived a near-death plane ride by helping the pilot - as a blind man. He invented R&B. He was powerful enough to bring black and white culture into one. He was a genre-melding musical genius. Despite being born into a literal dirt poor existence in the Jim Crow era Deep South, despite going completely blind by the age of seven, and despite his addiction, Ray Charles influenced everyone from the Beatles to Belushi. And he made some of the greatest music of all time.
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