Ray Charles always had country music in him even if he is known to be an R&B legend. He was one of the first musicians to bridge country music and hip hop and he was a trailblazer for all the African-American country singers.

The tribute was done back in October 2018 but it will premiere today (September 5). The show was hosted by Darius Rucker who was honored to do it for Ray Charles.

ray charles, opry

via Opry.com

Ray Charles Honored by Fellow Country Stars

To be considered a country legend is one of the dreams of a musician. Charles was able to achieve that status with all the accomplishment he’s had in his career. Performing at the prestigious stage of the Opry is every country artists’ dream. For Ray, it was always his childhood dream to perform there. Growing up in Georgia, the only reason he would stay awake late at night was to listen to the Opry on the radio. 

His dreams came true when he was able to perform back in 1983. His genre-defying music was met by skeptics and they even warned him that his country album will flop. Of course, this was not the case, as his album went on top of the Billboard charts. His success was really astonishing, considering that he was an African-American and during those days they did not have equal rights.

ray charles, opry

via Screengrab from YouTube

The 90-minute TV special will feature some of the country stars today. It will also feature behind-the-scenes footage, a visit to the Ray Charles Library, and iconic footage courtesy of the Ray Charles Foundation. Check out the list of performances by some of our favorite country artists today:

Set List

  • Boyz II Men and Chris Young: “Your Love So Doggone Good”
  • Travis Tritt: “I Am Moving On”
  • LeAnn Rimes: “Fever”
  • Charlie Wilson: “Unchain My Heart”
  • Darius Rucker: “Don’t Change On Me”
  • Boyz II Men: “Georgia On My Mind”
  • Trisha Yearwood: “You Don’t Know Me”
  • Ronnie Milsap and Jessie Key: “You Are my Sunshine”
  • Lukas Nelson: “Seven Spanish Angels”
  • Chris Young: “I Can’t Stop Loving You”
  • Charlie Wilson and LeAnn Rimes: “Crying Time”
  • Everyone: “America the Beautiful”

Remember Ray Charles’ legacy in his songs here: