Music legend Ray Charles, hailed as the Father of Soul, died Thursday morning at his Beverly Hills home after a long battle with liver disease. The 73-year-old's manager, Joe Adams, said, "Mr. Charles was conscious and engaged almost to the end, and wanted the world to know that he will miss the chance to entertain his many family and friends, as he had done, up until last summer, for the past 58 years." In his life, Charles overcame obstacles such as childhood poverty, blindness and heroin addiction to pioneer the soul sound and win 12 Grammys along the way. His final album, a CD of duets with such performers as Elton John, Norah Jones and Willie Nelson, is slated for release later this summer.
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