“Soul is a way of life, but it is always the hard way.” - Ray Charles
If a life is merely the sum of its parts, then the story of Ray Charles might read as a tale of personal highs and lows behind a lengthy, award-winning career in the music business.
But for a man who synthesized his struggles, pain and personal darkness as effectively as he incorporated a myriad of musical styles-Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Rock and Roll, Gospel, Country & Western -into his art, the story reads much differently, transformed from a sequence of events and accomplishments into a compelling and ultimately inspiring journey of a one-of-a-kind genius with a distinct vision…who, along the way, gave the world a new way to hear.
Ray is the never-before-told, musical biographical drama of American legend Ray Charles, brought to the big screen following a 15-year journey by award-winning filmmaker TAYLOR HACKFORD and featuring a remarkable performance from the multifaceted JAMIE FOXX.
Director Hackford (The Devil’s Advocate, Dolores Claiborne, An Officer and a Gentleman) - who, along with producing partner STUART BENJAMIN (La Bamba, The Long Walk Home, Everybody’s All-American), spent the last 15 years developing this story with Ray Charles - presents a well defined portrait of an artist who turned his personal encounters with darkness into a burning light.
The story of Ray – that of an impoverished, blind child of the segregated South who went on to break down social and artistic barriers and change the history of American music – is the quintessentially American story of a man’s fight to control his own destiny.
With Foxx assuming the title role in a performance of intensity, breadth and truth, Ray follows the most volatile period of Charles’ career - born in a poor town in Georgia, he went blind at the age of seven shortly after witnessing his younger brother’s accidental death.
Inspired by a fiercely independent mother who insisted he make his own way in the world, Charles found his calling and his gift behind a piano keyboard. The real journey begins the moment this young, black, blind teenager courageously boards a Florida bus all alone and heads across the United States to hone his art in the happening Seattle jazz scene.