Music Legend Gets White House Props

In honor of Black History Month, a new all-star music special, Ray Charles Tribute In Performance at the White House, a PBS presentation, celebrates the legacy of iconic singer, songwriter, composer and musician Ray Charles. The concert will premiere Friday, February 26 at 9/8c  on TV One and PBS stations nationwide simultaneously. It will be the 56th production in the In Performance at the White House series that WETA has produced since 1978.

Among the artists scheduled to perform are Yolanda Adams, Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Anthony Hamilton, Brittany Howard, Demi Lovato, Sam Moore, Jussie Smollett, The Band Perry and Usher with Rickey Minor as executive music director and Billy Maxwell as music director.


Born in Georgia on September 23 1930, Ray Charles was an iconic singer, songwriter, composer and musician. Often called the “Genius of Soul,” Charles combined blues, gospel and jazz to create groundbreaking hits such as “Unchain My Heart,” “Hit the Road Jack” and “Georgia on My Mind.”

Charles pioneered soul music during the 1950s, combining blues, gospel, and rhythm and blues music. He also created successful jazz records and, in a career spanning more than a half-century, Charles achieved his most prominent success as a crossover artist, recording country and pop records that helped integrate American popular music. One of the first members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Charles earned 17 Grammy Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Arts, and the Kennedy Center Honors, among other accolades. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Charles #10 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” and #2 on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.”



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