Born in a poor town in central Florida, Ray Charles went blind at the age of nine shortly after witnessing his younger brother's accidental death. Inspired by a fiercely independent mother who insisted he make his own way in the world, Charles found his calling behind a piano keyboard. Touring across the Southern musical circuit, this blind, soulful singer gained a reputation and then exploded with worldwide fame when he pioneered incorporating gospel, country, orchestral and jazz influences into his inimitable style. Charles was one of the first artists to fight for personal rights in the corporate music business, forever changing that industry. As he revolutionized the way people appreciated music, he came to fight segregation in the very clubs that launched him. Ray provides an unflinching portrait of this musical genius as he overcomes personal demons while transforming into one of this country's most beloved performers.
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Thomas Jefferson ByrdActor