Few entertainers have left behind the musical legacy that Ray Charles has left behind. Often referred to as “The Genius” — a title bestowed upon him by Frank Sinatra (per The Los Angeles Times) — Charles was born in 1930 and overcame seemingly impossible odds to become one of the most prolific, and influential, musicians of all time.
Considered by many as the pioneer of the modern soul music genre, Ray Charles’ music has been sampled by everyone from Kanye West (“Gold Digger,” which sampled “I Got A Woman”) to Led Zeppelin (“Your Time Is Gonna Come,” which sampled “I Believe to My Soul”). The biopic about his life, “Ray,” earned Jamie Foxx his first — and to date, his only — Academy Award win. And Rolling Stone has named him at No. 10 on the Top 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In short, he is nothing short of a legend. And though his $75 million estate (per Celebrity Net Worth) is quite impressive, it is his continued legacy in his twelve children — who were born between 1949 and 1987 — that is, perhaps, the most precious of all.
Let’s take a look at how the magic of Ray Charles continues to live on, even in the 21st century and beyond.
Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.
Little is known about Ray Charles’s eldest child, who was born in 1949.
Ray Charles Robinson Jr.
The eldest son of Ray Charles was born in 1955 and has quite a distinguished career in the entertainment industry. He was the co-producer of the “Ray” biopic, and the co-executive producer of “Ray Charles: 50 Years of Music.” He also wrote a book called “You Don’t Know Me,” about his father and his life, and his bio says he’s “committed to helping those in need in his community, especially those struggling with addiction.”
Born in 1958, David Robinson has very vivid memories of his father. In 2020, he shared some of his favorite ones with Closer Magazine. He also recalled his father’s independence.
“I think that was a driving force in his life,” he said. “It had to be, because of his discipline and what he was able to do.”
Charles Wayne Hendricks
Born in 1959, Charles Wayne Hendricks was raised almost exclusively by his father after his mother passed away at a young age. He lives in New York City.
Dr. Robert F. Robinson, Sr.
Dr. Robert F. Robinson Sr. was born in 1961. After serving as his father’s roadie during his teenage years, he chose to become a stay-at-home father while working various odd jobs. According to his bio, after reading news reports about the HIV and AIDS crisis in the United States, he went into evangelism. Now, he currently serves as a minister.
Born in 1961, Raenee Robinson serves as Ray Charles’ children’s unofficial spokesperson. In 2016, she made headlines when she told The Washington Post that eight — out of twelve — of Charles’s children weren’t invited to the White House tribute to their father.
“We’re usually the last to hear about it,” she said. “Everyone might not talk to each other, but everyone talks to me.”
Born in 1963, Sheila Robinson had a unique — and triumphant — story of her own. Back in 2012, she told the Hickory Record that she led a bit of a troubled life wrought with drug addiction and other problems, but ultimately turned that around when she was redeemed by God.
“I’m an evangelist, a singer, and a minister,” she said to the outlet at the time, crediting her evangelist religion with saving her from a life of drugs.
Unfortunately, Sheila Robinson passed away in 2017 from breast cancer.
Born in 1966, little is known about Reatha Butler’s life, as she tends to keep it very private.
Born in 1968, little is known about Alexandra Bertrand’s life, as she tends to keep it very private.
Born in 1977, very little is known about Vincent Kotchounian’s life, as he tends to live it out of the spotlight.
Born in 1978 and going professionally by Robyn L. Charles, Robyn Moffett — like her father — is a singer in her own right.
Ryan Corey Robinson den Bok
The youngest child of Ray Charles was born in 1987, and currently has a YouTube page, where he shares his burgeoning music career. He also does pretty respectable covers of his father’s classic tracks.