Ray Charles: Late Singer to Receive Special White House Honor

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Ray Charles will be honored next week at the White House. The late singer and his career will be highlighted in Wednesday's taping of Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House.

Several contemporary singers will be on hand to sing some Ray Charles tunes, including Demi Lovato, Yolanda Adams, and The Band Perry.

This event will mark the 16th time President Obama has held such a program at the White House.

In conjunction with the Ray Charles evening event, First Lady Michelle Obama has planned daytime events, including workshops with some of the invited artists. More than 130 middle school, high school, and college students from around the country will attend.

In addition to the guests from within the music industry, other special guests invited to honor Ray Charles include Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Anthony Hamilton, Brittany Howard, Sam Moore, and Jussie Smollett.

Ray Charles is best known for hits including "Hit the Road Jack" and "Georgia on My Mind." He went blind at the age of seven. The legendary singer died in June of 2004 at the age of 74.

What an extraordinary honor this will be for Ray Charles's surviving family members.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.