(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Due to a slower than expected recovery from hip surgery and subsequent therapy, Ray Charles has canceled upcoming dates. Charles was scheduled to return to the concert stage at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, New York, NY on March 2 after an eight-month hiatus from touring. The Manhattan Transfer will replace Charles for the "HIP Jazz Concert Series" event.
Charles has not missed a tour in 53 consecutive years of concert travels. He plans to start concert performances again in mid-June.
On January 30, Charles was awarded the Grammy "President's Merit Award" in Los Angeles by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). He will also receive the NAACP Image Awards "Hall of Fame" Award on March 6.
While remaining in Los Angeles, Charles continues to record a new duets album at his beloved, long time studios in Los Angeles, RPM Studios, which is scheduled to be named an historic landmark by the city. A year in the making, the Concord Records "Duets" CD is scheduled for an August 31 release and is Charles' first new recording since 2001. Norah Jones, BB King, Willie Nelson, Michael McDonald, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor are just a few of the artists involved with the project.
A feature film based on his life story, "Unchain My Heart, The Ray Charles Story," starring Jamie Foxx as the entertainer has recently completed principal filming. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen