Ray Charles is back in his hometown. Albany unveiled a revolving, lighted bronze statue of Charles on Friday in the middle of a new downtown plaza that bears the R&B legend’s name.
Family members attended the musical ceremony honoring the city’s most famous native son, born here in 1930.
“I can’t tell you how overwhelming it is for me to experience the love that you have for my father,” Sheila Raye Charles told the crowd of hundreds gathered at the $2 million plaza.
Charles was born in Albany but moved to Florida with his mother when he was young. He frequently returned to his hometown to visit family.
The singer died in 2004 at age 73. His version of “Georgia On My Mind” was made the official state song in 1979, 19 years after he recorded the chart-topping hit.