This timely biography does a credible job exploring the complex personality of musical legend Ray Charles. Using chronological structure and many color photographs, Duggleby gives equal time to Charles' impoverished Florida childhood, his early career imitating jazz and blues artists, and his later successes as a pianist, singer, composer, and as the father of the musical genre soul. Text boxes explore related topics such as Braille and the Grammies. The book is current through 2005, when Charles won posthumously eight Grammies for his album Genius Loves Company. To his credit, Duggleby does not whitewash Charles' lifestyle, including information about Charles s extramarital affairs and his heroin addiction. Furthermore he builds a convincing case for the significant contributions Charles made to twentieth-century music, influencing the Beatles, Elvis, and other musical icons. Overall the book reads smoothly, a quick pick for biography and music lovers, as well as an appealing selection for African American biography assignments.