American singer-songwriter. The Florida-born soul pioneer began losing his sight around five years old and was blind by the age of seven. A dedicated teacher taught him to read braille music in grammar school. By 1952, he'd been signed to Atlantic records, and began one of the most iconic careers in American music. Hit singles like "Georgia on My Mind" and "Hit the Road Jack" earned him Grammy awards and fame. Charles received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. He won 17 Grammy Awards, including 5 posthumously. Charles was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987, and 10 of his recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.