Charles Wayne Hendricks: Insight Into One of Ray Charles’ Sons

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By David

Real Name:Charles Wayne Hendricks
Birthday:October 1, 1959 - 2013
Net WorthN/A
Occupation:Son of Ray Charles

Charles Wayne Hendricks, born on October 1, 1959, is the son of legendary American composer, pianist, and singer Ray Charles and American gospel singer Margie Hendricks. Ray Charles, also known as “The Genius,” is considered one of the most iconic and influential singers in history. Margie Hendricks was a long-term girlfriend of Ray Charles, a group leader, and a member of the renowned girl gospel group, the Raelettes.

Although Charles Wayne Hendricks is the son of such notable musicians, he has maintained a private life, keeping himself out of the public eye. With limited information available about Charles, his life remains mostly unknown to the wider public. However, it is worth noting that he is one of Ray Charles’s twelve children, who have various mothers.

Despite his elusive presence, Charles Wayne Hendricks continues to carry the legacy of his famous parents. His connection to the legendary Ray Charles and his mother’s contributions to American gospel music establishes him as an important figure in the history of American music.

Early Life of Charles Wayne Hendricks

Birth and Family

Charles Wayne Hendricks was born on October 1, 1959, to the legendary musician Ray Charles and his partner, Margie Hendrix. Born in Georgia, Charles comes from a large and talented family. He is one of Ray Charles’ at least 11 children, who were born to seven or more women. Although Ray Charles had been married twice, his relationship with Margie Hendrix was not a marital one.

Musical Influences

Growing up in a family filled with musical talents, it wouldn’t be surprising for Charles to have been influenced by his father’s career. Ray Charles, his father, was an iconic musician known for his soulful voice and prowess in blending various genres of music, such as blues, gospel, and jazz. His mother, Margie Hendrix, was a talented singer herself and an integral part of the female vocal group “The Raelettes,” which often backed Ray Charles in his performances. However, not much is known about Charles Wayne’s own musical inclinations or involvements.

Struggle with Poverty

Despite being born to a successful and famous father, Charles Wayne Hendricks had to face challenging circumstances during his early years. After the death of his mother, Margie Hendrix, when Charles was only 14 years old, he had to endure several hardships, including poverty. Living in Georgia at the time, where economic disparities were not uncommon, Charles and his family faced the very real struggle that many low-income households experienced.

It is important to note that Charles Wayne Hendricks has chosen to live a very private life, away from the spotlight that shone on his father. As a result, many details about his personal life and his own experiences with poverty, musical influences, or sibling relationships remain largely unknown.

Personal Life


Charles Wayne Hendricks was born in October 1959 to the famous musician Ray Charles and his long-term partner, Margie Hendrix. Ray Charles was married twice in his life. His first marriage was to a beautician named Eileen Williams, with whom he did not have any children. Later, Charles married Della Beatrice Howard, with whom he had three children.

Relationships and Children

Charles Wayne Hendricks’ father, Ray Charles, had a total of twelve children with various women throughout his life. Charles’ mother, Margie Hendrix, was one of the many women with whom Ray Charles had a relationship, and she was a popular American gospel singer and a member of the girl gospel group the Raelettes.

Other notable relationships Ray Charles had include an affair with a woman named Aretha Robinson, who had one child, Sheila Raye Charles, with him. In total, Charles Wayne Hendricks had eleven siblings from his father’s relationships with seven or more women.

Health Issues

Ray Charles Robinson struggled with drug addiction throughout his life. He battled heroin addiction for many years, which then took a toll on his health and personal affairs. Although Charles Wayne Hendricks’ own health is not widely documented, his father’s drug addiction might have had a significant impact on his upbringing.

Legal and Financial Affairs

While growing up, Charles Wayne Hendricks lived most of his life away from the spotlight, making it challenging to discuss his legal and financial affairs. His father, Ray Charles, dealt with various legal disputes related to his drug addiction and issues surrounding his family.

It is important to note that Charles Wayne Hendricks passed away in 2013, leaving behind a complex legacy that intertwines his personal life with that of his famous father.

Legacy and Influence

Musical Impact

Charles Wayne Hendricks, son of the legendary Ray Charles, grew up in the shadow of a unique musical legacy that blended blues, gospel, rhythm, and blues (R&B), and influenced multiple generations of musicians. Ray Charles’ groundbreaking work served as a blueprint for numerous artists, with his innovative style and use of The Raelettes, female backup singers who became an integral part of his distinctive sound.

Contributions to Civil Rights

Beyond his musical influence, Ray Charles played a crucial role in advancing civil rights in the United States. His music transcended racial barriers, and he used his platform to promote equality. A key example of this is his refusal to perform at segregated venues and actively participating in civil rights events. Charles Wayne Hendricks continues to preserve his father’s dedication to equality through involvement in the Ray Charles Foundation, which seeks to empower underprivileged communities.

Awards and Honors

Ray Charles’ immeasurable contributions to music left a lasting impact and have earned him numerous awards and accolades. Some of these include:

  • 12 Grammy Awards: Ray Charles won these awards during his lifetime, highlighting his excellence in various genres, such as R&B and pop.
  • Kennedy Center Honors: As a testament to his cultural impact, Ray Charles received this prestigious award in 1986, celebrating his achievements as a musician and humanitarian.
  • Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame: In recognition of his significant influence on R&B and blues, Ray Charles was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

Charles Wayne Hendricks is a living testament to his father’s incredible legacy and continues to preserve and promote the remarkable contributions made by his father, Ray Charles, to the world of music and beyond.

Representation in Media

Biographical Film

In the biopic Ray (2004), the life of Charles Wayne Hendrick’s father, Ray Charles, was portrayed. This film highlighted Ray’s journey as an influential musician and his personal struggles. Charles Wayne Hendricks’ mother, Margie Hendrix, was portrayed by the talented actress Regina King. Although the movie does not focus on Charles Wayne Hendricks directly, the relationship between Ray Charles and Margie Hendrix is a significant aspect of the film.


There have been several documentaries that shed light on the life and legacy of Ray Charles. Though Charles Wayne Hendricks wasn’t the primary focus, these documentaries still provide insights into the family background and context in which he grew up. Some of the documentaries that mention the Charles family include:

  • Ray Charles: The Genius of Soul (1997)
  • Ray Charles: Live at Montreux (2002)
  • Ray Charles: In Concert (2004)

Books and Autobiography

Ray Charles’ autobiography, Brother Ray: Ray Charles’ Own Story (1978), co-authored with David Ritz, gives an in-depth look at his life, relationships, and career. In this book, Charles shares personal anecdotes and stories about his experiences, which indirectly provide hints about the lives of his children, including Charles Wayne Hendricks. Additionally, several biographies have been written about Ray Charles, which explore his life and impact on the music industry. Some notable titles are:

  • Ray Charles: Man and Music by Michael Lydon
  • Ray Charles: Find Another Way! by David A. Adler and Eric Velasquez
  • You Don’t Own Me: The Life and Times of Lesley Gore by Trevor Tolliver

While the majority of these works focus on the life and career of Ray Charles, they still manage to shed light on Charles Wayne Hendricks and his family background. Through these various sources, readers can gain insights into the life of Charles Wayne Hendricks as the son of a legendary musician and his partner, Margie Hendrix.

Death and Posthumous Events

Final Days

Charles Wayne Hendricks, son of the legendary musician Ray Charles, lived a relatively private life. Details about his final days and specific circumstances surrounding his death are not readily available.

Ray Charles’s Funeral

After Ray Charles’s passing on June 10, 2004, a moving funeral service was held at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. Surrounded by friends, family, and fans, Charles was remembered and celebrated for his many contributions to music and civil rights. Charles’s final resting place is at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.

Estate and Inheritance Issues

Ray Charles left behind a substantial estate, and with 12 children from different relationships, the inheritance issues were quite complex. It has been reported that, prior to his death, Ray Charles met with his children and set up trust funds for them. The value of the trust funds is not widely known, but he seems to have made efforts to ensure that the inherited wealth would be distributed fairly among his children, including Charles Wayne Hendricks.