December 07, 2004 01:53 PM
US Eastern Timezone
Ray Charles’ Multi-Platinum “Genius Loves Company” Nominated for 10 GRAMMY Awards, Including Best Album of the Year
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.-(BUSINESS WIRE)-Dec. 7, 2004-
Music Legend’s Final CD is Best Selling Recording of His Career; First Ever GRAMMY Nominations for Starbucks Hear Music; CONCORD Nominations Now Tally Over 100
Genius Loves Company, the final recording from music legend Ray Charles, has been nominated for 10 GRAMMY® Awards; it was announced today. The “Genius” received nominations for Best Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year (“Here We Go Again” with Norah Jones), Best Gospel Performance (“Heaven Help Us All” with Gladys Knight), Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance (“Sinner’s Prayer” with BB King), TWO for the Best Vocal Collaboration category (“Here We Go Again” with Norah Jones and “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” with Elton John), Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals (Victor Vanacore for “Over the Rainbow” with Johnny Mathis), Best Engineered Album (non-classical) and Best Surround Sound Album.
The landmark CD – Charles’ 250th recording effort – features the multi-talented musician performing new duets with such world-renowned artists as Natalie Cole, Elton John, Norah Jones, B.B. King, Gladys Knight, Diana Krall, Michael McDonald, Johnny Mathis, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor.
To date, Genius Loves Company has received Gold, Silver and Platinum certifications across North America, Europe and beyond, making it, by all accounts, the best selling recording of Ray Charles’ six-decade career. The CD was released on August 31 and has been a near-permanent fixture at the top of the Billboard charts since that time. As of December 1, when the last soundscan numbers were reported, it had sold in excess of 1.2 million copies in the United States alone.
The considerable sales of Genius Loves Company were facilitated in part by a unique distribution and marketing relationship between Concord Records and Starbucks Hear Music(TM) label. This is the first ever GRAMMY nomination for Starbucks Hear Music, which has been singularly responsible for approximately 30 percent of the total domestic sales of the album. Concord Records, which just last week announced the label’s acquisition of the coveted Fantasy Inc., has received over 100 Grammy nods during its rich 31-year history.
During his lifetime, Charles received 12 GRAMMY Awards, the first four in 1960 for “Let the Good Times Roll,” “The Genius of Ray Charles,” and his signature “Georgia on My Mind” (in two categories). In 1987, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) presented him with the “Lifetime Achievement Award.” In January 2004, just two months before the completion of Genius Loves Company, NARAS President Neil Portnow presented Charles with the “President’s Merit Award” at his long-time offices and studios in central Los Angeles, a facility built in 1960 and one that was recently designated an historical landmark by the city.
“Ray,” a new movie based on Charles’ life that stars Jamie Foxx, opened in October to rave reviews. On December 1, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH, of which Charles was an original inductee, opened a special exhibit featuring memorabilia and archival material from the Genius’ prolific career.
Also, at Starbucks Company-operated locations in the United States this holiday season, an exclusive Ray Charles boxed set pairs Genius Loves Company and his greatest hits CD Visionary Soul, with a special edition Ray Charles Starbucks Card.
Concord’s other GRAMMY nominations for 2004 include: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Monica Mancini for “Ultimate Mancini”), Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (Stevie Wonder & Take 6 for “Moon River” from “Ultimate Mancini”) and Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album (Ozomatli for “Street Signs”).
Concord Records, Inc. Jo Foster, 310-385-4218 [email protected] or Solters & Digney Jerry Digney/Eric Raymond, 323-651-9300 [email protected] [email protected] or Edelman for Starbucks Elisa Wiefel, 323-202-1069 [email protected]