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25 July 2010

Ray Charles Celebrates His 70th Birthday In The House Of Blues (2000)

Clipping: from People Magazine.

Reuters Television keeps a 5m52s reel of their celeb news coverage of Ray Charles' 70th birthday celebration, on 2 October 2000 (ID 010020034; source here; watch this partial clip), in the House Of Blues in Los Angeles. At the occasion he received the Blues Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Reuters wrote:
"Serenaded by the likes of Willie Nelson, Billy Preston and Ashford & Simpson, soul icon Ray Charles has belatedly celebrated his 70th birthday recently with a big dose of the blues.
Charles was the guest of honor in West Hollywood at an annual fund-raising dinner thrown by the Blues Foundation, a non-profit group that aims to promote and preserve blues music around the world.
Producer-composer Quincy Jones [...] showered the musician with praise as he handed him a lifetime achievement award. "Ray is a nation. I mean you talk about everybody else and you talk about Ray Charles, that's the way I feel about it. He invented it."
"I think he likes me," Charles said in reply. "The thing he said to you is very true."
Billy Preston led the crowd in a chant of "Happy Birthday" and performed "You Are So Beautiful" as Charles was presented with a large German chocolate birthday cake. Singer-songwriters Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson sang several tunes, including Let's Go Get Stoned, which Charles took to No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1966, the duo's first big hit. Nelson praised "my old chess partner" as he sang Georgia On My Mind [...]. Jazz vocalist Diane Schuur [...] also performed. [...]. Charles, whose actual birthday was Sept. 23, did not perform. He sat at a long table next to Jones, grinning widely and occasionally getting up to groove to the music. [...]."
Also read this. More photos here.

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