Ray Charles' Ten Greatest Hits

September 23, 2015 would have been Ray Charles's 85th birthday

Born September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia, Ray Charles was one of the most versatile recording artists of all time, excelling in R&B. rock and roll, country, gospel, blues, and pop music. He won 17 Grammy Awards and achieved 14 number one Billboard singles.

His long list of accolades includes induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

On June 10, 2004, Charles passed away from a liver disease at his home in Beverly Hills, California, He was 73 years old.

His final album, Genius Loves Company, was released two months after his death, featuring duets with B.B. King, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Norah Jones and Johnny Mathis. The CD won eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and Record of the Year for "Here We Go Again."

Here is a list of "Ten Reasons Why Ray Charles Was a Genius."

01
of 10
1960 - "Georgia On My Mind"

Ray Charles. James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In 1961, "Georgia On My Mind" by Ray Charles won two Grammy Awards: Best Vocal Performance Album, Male and Best Performance By A Pop Single Artist. Recorded for the 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road, it became the official state song of the State of Georgia in 1979.

02
of 10
1959 - "What'd I Say"

Ray Charles. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The title song of Ray Charles' 1959 album, What'd I Say, was his fifth number one RandB hit, and his first top ten pop single, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100. It was his first certified gold single, and in 2002, it was added to the National Recording Registry.

03
of 10
1955 - "I Got A Woman"

Ray Charles. Gai Terrell/Redferns

"I Got A Woman" in 1955 was Ray Charles' first number one hit on the Billboard RandB chart. From his self-titled debut album, the song has been covered by dozens of artists, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Stevie Wonder.

04
of 10
1961 - "Hit The Road Jack"

Ray Charles. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In 1961, "Hit The Road Jack" became Ray Charles' first song to reach the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and RandB charts. It was number one for five weeks on the RandB chart, and remained on top of the Hot 100 for two weeks. The next year, the song won a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording.

05
of 10
1962 - "I Can't Stop Loving You"

Ray Charles. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In 1962, "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles became his first song to hit number one on three Billboard charts: Hot 100, RandB. and Adult Contemporary. It was number one for five weeks on the Hot 100. The next year, the song won a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording.

06
of 10
1960 - "Let The Good Times Roll"

Ray Charles and FRank Sinatra. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1961, "Let The Good Times Roll" by Ray Charles won a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Performance. Charles also recorded the song again with Stevie Wonder and Bono from U2 for Quincy Jones' 1995 album, Q's Jook Joint.
 

07
of 10
1993 - "A Song For You"

Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles. rancis Apesteguy/Getty Images

In 1994, Ray Charles' version of the Leon Russell classic "A Song For You" won a Grammy Award for Best RandB Vocal Performance, Male.

08
of 10
2004 - "Here We Go Again" with Norah Jones

Ray Charles. Tom Briglia/FilmMagic)

"Here We Go Again" by Ray Charles and Norah Jones from the 2004 Genius Loves Company CD won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. The CD was also honored as Album of the Year. 

09
of 10
1966 - "Crying Time"

Ray Charles. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The title song of Ray Charles' 1966 album Crying Time won Grammy Awards for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording, and Best Rhythm and Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Male Or Female. Charles and Barbra Streisand recorded the song as a duet on her 1973 album, Barbra Streisand...And Other Musical Instruments.

10
of 10
1989 - "I'll Be Good To You"

Ray Charles and Quiny Jones. George Pimentel/WireImage for NARAS

In 1991, "I'll Be Good To You" by Ray Charles and Chaka Khan from Quincy Jones 1989 CD, Back on the Block, won a Grammy Award for

Best RandB Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. The song reached number one on the Billboard RandB and Dance charts.