The U.S. Postal Service proudly honors inspiring musician Ray Charles with a stamp, one of several that inaugurates the Music Icons series. This extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist, blind since childhood, went beyond category, blending blues, gospel, country, jazz, and soul music in a unique and highly influential pop music style. His many hits included "I've Got a Woman," "Georgia on My Mind," and "I Can't Stop Loving You."
The stamp art features an image of Charles, taken later in his career, by photographer Yves Carrere. The stamp sheet was designed to evoke the appearance of a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the sheet includes the stamps and the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve. A larger version of the photograph featured on the stamp and the logo for the Music Icons series appear on the reverse side.
Looking back over the course of his long career, there seemed to be little Charles couldn't do. His work spanned almost the entire breadth of American music and brought him 17 Grammy Awards, plus an award for lifetime achievement in 1987. His many other prizes include the National Medal of Arts, awarded in 1993, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He performed at the White House many times for several different presidents.
Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the stamp sheet with designer Neal Ashby. The Ray Charles stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp.