Charles in the 1960s
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016
Charles in 1968
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, showing Lake Erie in the foreground
Charles in 1971
The museum's New York City Annex (2008–2010) on Mercer Street, Soho
Charles meeting with President Richard Nixon, 1972 (photo by Oliver F. Atkins)
English guitarist, singer, and songwriter Eric Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Charles at the 2003 Montreal International Jazz Festival, one of his last public performances
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio November 2015
Quincy Jones worked with Ray Charles.
Star honoring Charles on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard
Statue by Andy Davis in Ray Charles Plaza in Albany, Georgia

He was one of the inaugural inductees at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

- Ray Charles

It featured clothing from Buddy Holly to Alice Cooper, from Ray Charles to David Bowie and from Smokey Robinson to Sly Stone.

- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Charles in the 1960s

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Al Green (1973), one of the genre's major pioneering artists

Soul music

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Popular music genre that originated in the African American community throughout the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Popular music genre that originated in the African American community throughout the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Al Green (1973), one of the genre's major pioneering artists
Ray Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles
James Brown was known as the "Godfather of Soul"
Sam Cooke is acknowledged as one of soul music's "forefathers".
Solomon Burke recorded for Atlantic in the 1960s
Aretha Franklin is widely known as the "Queen of Soul"
Marvin Gaye shifted to a soul sound with his 1971 hit "What's Going On"
Levi Stubbs singing lead with the Four Tops in 1966
Soul singer Otis Redding was an electrifying stage presence
Isaac Hayes performing in 1973
Adele performing in 2016

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying".

Ray Charles is often cited as popularizing the soul music genre with his series of hits, starting with 1954's "I Got a Woman".

Wonder in 1994

Stevie Wonder

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American singer-songwriter, who is credited as a pioneer and influence by musicians across a range of genres that include rhythm and blues, pop, soul, gospel, funk and jazz.

American singer-songwriter, who is credited as a pioneer and influence by musicians across a range of genres that include rhythm and blues, pop, soul, gospel, funk and jazz.

Wonder in 1994
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Wonder performing in 1973, during the early years of his "classic period"
Wonder backstage at the 1990 Grammy Awards
Wonder in 2006
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Wonder receiving a standing ovation in the East Room of the White House in 2011

Wonder has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Mainly covers of Ray Charles's songs, the album included a Wonder and Paul composition, "Sunset".

Cooke in 1963

Sam Cooke

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American singer and songwriter.

American singer and songwriter.

Cooke in 1963
Cooke in Billboard, 1965, released posthumously
Grave of Sam Cooke in the Garden of Honor at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California

The other headliners were Little Willie John, Ray Charles, Ernie Freeman, and Bo Rhambo.

In 1986, Cooke was inducted as a charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Ertegun circa 1960

Ahmet Ertegun

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Turkish-American businessman, songwriter, record executive and philanthropist.

Turkish-American businessman, songwriter, record executive and philanthropist.

Ertegun circa 1960
The Ertegun family in 1942
Atlantic Records logo from its inception in 1947 to 1966 (it was still used on 7" single releases), used again from 1979 to 1981 and 2004 to 2015.
Ahmet (left) with his brother Nesuhi, around 1960

He served as the chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum, located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hit artists that recorded on Atlantic included Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, The Clovers, The Drifters, The Coasters and Ray Charles.

Joel in 2009

Billy Joel

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American singer, pianist, composer and songwriter.

American singer, pianist, composer and songwriter.

Joel in 2009
Joel in 1972
Joel in 1994
Joel playing guitar in 1994
Joel at Madison Square Garden, circa 1995
Joel at Madison Square Garden, circa 2006
Joel performing in 2007
Joel with his band performing in California
Joel with Mike DelGuidice in 2016
Joel performing at Madison Square Garden in 2016
Joel's daughter, Alexa Ray Joel
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry with the 2013 Kennedy Center honorees – Shirley MacLaine, Martina Arroyo, Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, and Herbie Hancock.
Joel receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, 2006
Joel in 1983

Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006).

Alexa was given the middle name of Ray after Ray Charles, one of Joel's musical idols.

Presley in a publicity photograph for the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Presley

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American singer and actor.

American singer and actor.

Presley in a publicity photograph for the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock
Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi
A photo of Elvis's parents at the Historic Blue Moon Museum in Verona, Mississippi
Presley in a Sun Records promotional photograph, 1954
The "iconic cover" of Presley's 1956 debut album, an image crucial in codifying the guitar as the defining instrument of rock and roll
Presley signing autographs in Minneapolis in 1956
Ed Sullivan and Presley during rehearsals for his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, October 26, 1956
Presley performing live at the Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds in Tupelo, September 26, 1956
Presley and costar Judy Tyler in the trailer for Jailhouse Rock, released October 1957
Presley being sworn into the U.S. Army at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, March 24, 1958
Presley with Juliet Prowse in G.I. Blues
The '68 Comeback Special produced "one of the most famous images" of Presley. Taken on June 29, 1968, it was adapted for the cover of Rolling Stone in July 1969.
Presley meets U.S. President Richard Nixon in the White House Oval Office, December 21, 1970
Presley with friends Bill Porter and Paul Anka backstage at the Las Vegas Hilton on August 5, 1972
Presley came up with his outfit's eagle motif, as "something that would say 'America' to the world"
Presley's gravestone at Graceland
Presley with his longtime vocal backup group, the Jordanaires, March 1957
Publicity photo for the CBS program Stage Show, January 16, 1956
Poster for the film Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962), visualizing Presley's sex symbol image
Presley and Colonel Tom Parker, 1969
A group of Elvis impersonators in 2005
Presley's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6777 Hollywood Blvd
Presley meets U.S. President Richard Nixon in the White House Oval Office, December 21, 1970

The others would centrally define the evolving sound of rock and roll: "Blue Suede Shoes"—"an improvement over Perkins' in almost every way", according to critic Robert Hilburn—and three R&B numbers that had been part of Presley's stage repertoire for some time, covers of Little Richard, Ray Charles, and The Drifters.

Presley has been inducted into five music halls of fame: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986), the Country Music Hall of Fame (1998), the Gospel Music Hall of Fame (2001), the Rockabilly Hall of Fame (2007), and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame (2012).

Jordan in New York City, 1946

Louis Jordan

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American saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and bandleader who was popular from the late 1930s to the early 1950s.

American saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and bandleader who was popular from the late 1930s to the early 1950s.

Jordan in New York City, 1946
Louis Jordan's Tympany Five
Jordan in New York, July 1946, shortly after getting second billing to Glen Gray at the Paramount

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an "early influence" in 1987.

James Brown and Ray Charles also said that Jordan's style had an influence on their work.

Brown performing in 1996

Charles Brown (musician)

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American singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced nightclub style influenced West Coast blues in the 1940s and 1950s.

American singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced nightclub style influenced West Coast blues in the 1940s and 1950s.

Brown performing in 1996

He influenced such performers as Floyd Dixon, Cecil Gant, Ivory Joe Hunter, Percy Mayfield, Johnny Ace and Ray Charles.

Brown was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1996 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.