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Ray Charles, musician. One of the first african-american musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. regarded as a pioneer of soul music by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles.

Aretha Franklin, American musician, singer, songwriter, & pianist. Her repertoire has included gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, pop, rock & funk. She is known as one of the most important popularizers of soul music and is referred to as the Queen of Soul. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her #1 on its "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list as well as the 9th greatest artist of all time. She has won 20 Grammys & became the 1st female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.