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Ray Charles Net Worth, The Genius of Music

If you love music, especially the genres Jazz, blues, “rhythm and blues”, then you must have remembered Ray Charles. He is someone considered “The Genius” by his peers for his skills and performances. He is the pioneer of soul music and a legendary singer.

In this article, as usual, we will discuss Ray Charles net worth during his successful career, how he was able to accumulate his wealth, and other facts about Ray Charles net worth. 

The Bio of Ray Charles

Ray Charles, or Ray Charles Robinson Sr., was an American singer, songwriter, musician, artist, and composer, among many other titles. He is regarded as one of the most influential singers of all time. 

He is being praised both by his fans and peers in the show business. Someone as influential as Billy Joel even said, “he might be more important than Elvis Presley. Frank Sinatra, another big name in music history, called him “the only true genius in show business.” Of course, all his performance and achievement during his life has improved Ray Charles net worth by a significant amount.

Summary table
Stage Name Ray Charles
Legal name Ray Charles Robinson Sr.
Date of Birth September 23, 1930
Gender Male
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Net worth $75 million
Salary not enough information
Profession Singer, composer, songwriter, musician
Nationality American

Ray Charles best known

Ray Charles was known for many things during his lifetime and even after his death. Charles was known as the pioneer of soul music, a music genre in the African American community, combining gospel music and rhythm and blues. He is also known for winning many awards, including 18 Grammy Awards; even 10 of his recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Ray Charles net worth

Early life and Education of Ray Charles

Charles was born on September 23, 1930. He was the son of Aretha (or Reatha) Robinson, the mother he loved so much. When he recalled his mother, it was her perseverance, self-sufficiency, and pride that he remembered guiding his life, despite being in poor health and adversity. Ray Charles net worth has increased significantly during his career thanks to his mother’s teaching. 

Personal life (family, spouse, kids)

Charles married twice during his lifetime. His marriage to Eileen Williams lasts less than a year until 1952. His second marriage was with Della Beatrice Howard Robinson on April 5, 1955. They are blessed with three sons, Ray Charles Robinson Jr., David, and Robert. 

Charles also has many other children with other women he dated. Other than the three above, he has another 9 children, with a total of 12 children. He ever held a family lunch for all his children when he told all of them about his illness, he also gave each of them $500,000 after telling the news.

Ray Charles’s Career

Ray Charles started his career by playing piano for bands at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla. Then he joined Local 632 of the musicians’ union, where he learned piano by copying others. 

Charles’s most significant career boost was after the contract with Atlantic Records, a seven-year contract that lasted from June 1952 to 1959. During this time, he recorded “It Must Be Jesus” (1954), “The Great Ray Charles (1957)”, and most importantly, “What’d I Say” (1959), which combined gospel, jazz, blues, and Latin music. 

This song later became his first song to reach the top ten in rankings. It reached No. 6 on the Billboard Pop chart and No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1959.

Ray Charles net worth

Awards and achievements

Charles won 17 Grammy Awards from 37 nominations and was even awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 for his work. Charles was inducted into the National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2004, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame In 2015, and the latest into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2022. As we can see, Ray Charles net worth is significantly huge for a reason.

Ray Charles Net worth 

Back to the main discussion, How much was Ray Charles net worth at the time of his death? Many sources claimed that Ray Charles net worth was about $75 million back then. It consisted of $25 million from the original master and another $50 million he held in securities, real estate, and other assets.


Ray Charles was also known for his entrepreneurial aptitudes. He was able to negotiate with ABC-Paramount to possess his own master recording. It was an investment that was quite rare at that time. 

Charles also operated his own publishing companies, and together with Joe Adams, his long-time manager, they built RPM International office and studios on Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles. Ray Charles net worth must increase greatly from the business he worked on during his lifetime.

Real estate investment

As we mentioned earlier, there is about $50 million in Ray Charles net worth from his income that he held in securities, real estate, and other assets. Unfortunately, we don’t have any information about where the assets are or which ones. 

How much does Ray Charles make per year? (Salary / Earning / Income)

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the precise salary he earned during his lifetime. Unlike the amount of Ray Charles net worth, which has many references, the salary is a different thing altogether because it is rarely fixed into a single amount. 

Ray Charles net worth

How does Ray Charles make money?

Most of Ray Charles net worth was gained from his work as a famous artist. So, he earned income from albums selling, tickets sold from his stage performances, royalties from his songs, and many more. 

Ray Charles’s cause of death

Charles died on June 10, 2004, at the age of 73. The cause of death at that time was complications resulting from liver failure. We don’t know when he started to experience sickness, but before the day he died, he underwent hip replacement surgery. 

Learning from his lifestyle during his life, it is not surprising for him to experience that kind of complication, in addition to his old age. Even if he has accumulated so much wealth, as demonstrated in the Ray Charles net worth, and was able to acquire exceptional healthcare, it is still not enough to cure all the burden he put into his body from all the dangerous substances he consumed during his life. 

It is always important to eat and drink healthy when we want a healthy life, there is no other shortcut to it.