MARY J. BLIGE, KENNY CHESNEY, AL GREEN, ELTON JOHN,
NORAH JONES, B.B. KING, REBA McENTIRE, USHER AND STEVIE WONDER WILL PERFORM, ON "GENIUS: A NIGHT FOR RAY CHARLES,"
A NEW ENTERTAINMENT SPECIAL TO BE BROADCAST FRIDAY, OCT. 22
ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
Actor and Comedian Jamie Foxx ("Ray," "Collateral")
To Host the All-Star Tribute
Mos Def, Quincy Jones and Bruce Willis
Will Be Among Stars Introducing Performances
Music superstars Mary J. Blige, Kenny Chesney, Al Green, Elton John, Norah Jones, B.B. King, Reba McEntire, Usher and Stevie Wonder are among the artists set to perform on GENIUS: A NIGHT FOR RAY CHARLES, a new entertainment special, taped at Staples Center in Los Angeles, to be broadcast Friday, Oct. 22 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Actor Jamie Foxx ("Ray," "Collateral") will host the all-star tribute to Ray, whose many hits in R&B, pop, country and rock have influenced many of yesterday's and today's biggest artists. Mos Def, Quincy Jones and Bruce Willis will be among the stars giving special introductions to the musical performances.
During the concert extravaganza, the many artists who have been influenced by Ray will take the stage to celebrate the "genius" of America's own music and cultural hero. Beloved songs that will be performed on the special include "Georgia On My Mind," "Hit the Road Jack," "Night Time is the Right Time," "I Can't Stop Lovin' You" and "Unchain My Heart," among others. Video clips of Ray's long and varied career will be interspersed with clips from the upcoming feature film "Ray," in which host Jamie Foxx portrays the American legend. The film opens Oct. 29.
The special will also trace Ray's rise to superstardom from his poverty-stricken roots, as well as celebrate the major influence he had on several generations of music fans. Ray's longtime friends and co-musicians Quincy Jones, B.B. King and David "Fathead" Newman will reminisce about Ray's life.
Born in Albany, Ga. in 1930, music legend and 12-time Grammy Award winner Ray Charles revolutionized many styles of music, from R&B to jazz, rock 'n' roll, country and gospel. Ray became blind at age 7, and soon after developed his gift of music. Inspired by a fiercely independent mother who insisted he make his own way in the world, Ray found his calling and his gift at the piano. Touring the Southern musical circuit, the soulful singer revolutionized the way people appreciated music. He simultaneously fought segregation in the very clubs that launched him and championed artists' rights within the corporate music business. Some of his biggest hits include "Georgia On My Mind," "Hit the Road Jack," "You Don't Know Me" and "I Can't Stop Loving You." Ray Charles died on June 10, 2004 in Los Angeles.
Tickets to the Oct. 8 taping of the special on are now on sale to the public through Ticketmaster.
GENIUS: A NIGHT FOR RAY CHARLES is being produced by Ken Ehrlich Productions in association with AEG/Live and Bristol Bay Productions. Ken Ehrlich ("The Grammy Awards," "The Latin Grammy Awards"), Randy Phillips (President and CEO of AEG/Live), Taylor Hackford ("Ray," "An Officer and A Gentleman") and Stuart Benjamin ("Ray," "La Bamba") are the executive producers; Joe Adams (Ray Charles' long-time manager and business partner) and Marcus King ("The Jamie Foxx Show") are the co-executive producers. Renato Basile ("Blockbuster Entertainment Awards," "Elton John: One Night Only - Greatest Hits Live") is the producer; Tisha Fein ("Motown 45") and Rickey Minor ("Motown 45") and are the co-producers; Minor is the musical director. Bruce Gowers ("The American Music Awards," "American Idol") serves as the director; Ehrlich and David Wild ("Countdown to the Oscars 2004") are the writers.
RATING: To Be Announced