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Studio to become Ray Charles museum

Building will house education center, working studio
/ Source: The Associated Press

The studio where Ray Charles recorded his final album will become a museum to the late music legend.

Organizers said Thursday they planned to convert the 20,000-square-foot, three-story building on Washington Boulevard near downtown into a museum housing recordings, awards and even a tour bus.

It was expected to be completed by late 2007.

“We didn’t want it in Beverly Hills or a monument to Ray Charles anywhere but right where it is,” said Charles’ longtime manager, Joe Adams.

Charles, 73, died in June at his home in Beverly Hills. He used the studio to record his final, Grammy Award-winning album, “Genius Loves Company.” It was declared a city historic landmark last year.

The building will house an education center and working recording studio, Adams said.

The museum will be “a working monument in this community, the community he was proud of, the community that was proud of him,” Adams said.

The cost of converting the studio to a museum hadn’t been determined, but a series of fund-raisers was being planned for summer, organizers said.