The release of this landmark recording marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship between Hear Music, the voice of music at Starbucks, and Concord Records to produce and distribute new recordings.
During a career that spanned nearly six decades, Charles, an original inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, appeared on nearly 250 recordings. While he performed with various artists, Genius Loves Company will be his first full album of duets.
The CD includes performances with some of todays most accomplished and respected entertainers.
The 12-time Grammy Award-winning artist handpicked the songs featured on Genius Loves Company, such as Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (Elton John), Sinners Prayer (B.B. King), Here We Go Again (Norah Jones), It Was A Very Good Year (Willie Nelson) and Fever (Natalie Cole). With a variety of musical genres represented, from gospel and blues to jazz and pop, the recording exhibits the emotion and cross-genre styling that helped make Charles one of the most influential musicians in history.
Ive been a devoted fan of Rays since I first heard him as a kid, says Bonnie Raiit on working on Genius Loves Company. Do I Ever Cross Your Mind was one of my favorites from his Country/Western albums and I think singing it as a duet makes it even more powerful. Getting to record with Ray has been a lifelong dream and being part of this project has been one of the proudest and most moving moments in my life.
Elton John adds: It was amazing to sit in the studio and sing with him. Its so incredibly impressive to be with someone to which music had meant so much. It was a very emotional experience. Michael McDonald, who recorded Hey Girl for the CD with a full orchestra, declares, To be singing with Ray Charles, two feet away from him, live with an orchestra was pretty unbelievable.
Genius Loves Company was produced by Concord Records executive vice president John Burk and Grammy winner Phil Ramone, and recorded for the most part at Charles historic studio in downtown Los Angeles. Its a special privilege to say youve recorded with Ray Charles, explains Ramone. Being immersed in and around his musicality is always a learning experience. He set the pace for all of us. The result is a joyful, heartfelt album of great music.
Genius Loves Company is available in traditional retail outlets and at Starbucks Company-operated locations and on hearmusic.com.
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