At the height of his success, Ray Charles sat down with Ben Fong-Torres, a journalist with Rolling Stone magazine, in 1973 and got remarkably candid. The singer was comfortable enough to call out white artists like Joe Cocker and Elvis for imitating Black culture and being rewarded for it, as well as to talk about his addiction to heroin and the struggle to kick it. It was a first for Charles.

That interview went on to win the Deems Taylor Award for magazine writing, but it was just one of many by Fong-Torres that reflected his empathy and honesty, allowing

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