Ray Charles is being honored by the United States Postal Service with his own stamp in the “Music Icons Forever” series. It went on sale Monday (September 23), which would have been Charles’ 83rd birthday. A new CD/DVD set was also released, featuring a Charles song that was previously unreleased.
Previously, the stamp series paid tribute to Tejano singer Lydia Mendoza and Johnny Cash, one of the most iconic names in country music, among others. Ashanti and Kenny Rogers appeared at a celebration for the stamp’s release Monday at Moorehouse College’s Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. Ashanti also performed with the school’s glee club.
The photograph used on the stamp was taken by Yves Carrere. The team behind the stamp looked high and low for the right photo to use before finding the image. “It’s Ray soaking in the applause and the pure joy of the moment,” art director Ethel Kessler tells USPS’ Beyond the Perf.