“Just because you can't see anything , doesn't mean you should shut your eyes.” - Ray Charles, Grammy Award-Winning Singer & Pianist
Today PASH honors the birthday of Grammy Award-winning soul singer Ray Charles, a groundbreaking artist known for hits like "Hit the Road Jack" and "Georgia on My Mind”. Completely blind by the age of seven, Charles’ disability never held him back from mastering the piano and earning himself a recording contract with Atlantic Records at just 21 years old. Combining elements of jazz, gospel and rock, Charles was a pioneer of the soul music genre and is considered by many to be the “Father of Soul”. Charles won numerous accolades throughout his career — among numerous Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Charles received the National Medal of Arts in 1993 — a prestigious award established by the United States Congress for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts.