NewsBlack History Month


Robyn Charles, daughter of Ray Charles, reflects on father's soulful influence to music scene in West Palm Beach

1 of 12 children to late singer-songwriter pays visit to city
Posted at 9:42 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 21:42:11-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Robyn Charles comes from a large family. She is one of 12 children born to Ray Charles, the late singer-songwriter who was born in Florida.

"I knew him my whole life," Robyn Charles said of her father during a recent visit to West Palm Beach. "We just didn't have a lot of interaction."

Now a performer in her own right, Robyn Charles often sees her father's footprint wherever her travels take her.

During her recent trip to West Palm Beach, Robyn Charles stopped by the Historic Northwest District across from the Sunset Lounge.

Robyn Charles walks by Ray Charles artwork in West Palm Beach
Robyn Charles walks by a piece of artwork commemorating her father, Ray Charles, while visiting the Historic Northwest District in West Palm Beach.

The venue is currently under renovation and could be ready for a soft opening at the end of the year.

During its heyday, the Sunset Lounge was a place for Black performers in the segregated south.

Robyn Charles said to see a place where her father's DNA is part of the community, "in the state that he was born in, makes it all that more amazing, right?"

To the rest of the world, Ray Charles was a blind, soulful crooner. But to his daughter, he's an enduring man who opened her eyes to a talent all her own.