Who is Ray Charles’s wife? Here’s everything you need to know

Ray charles

Ray Charles, who preferred to be called Brother Ray among friends and fellow musicians and was also often referred to as the Genius, was indeed a musical genius. The American songwriter, singer, pianist, and composer topped the charts in the 1950s and ’60s with incredible integration of country music, rhythm and blues, and pop music. His career was quite magnificent, but what about his personal life? The singer was married to two women and left behind 12 children. The most outspoken among Ray’s wives is Della Beatrice, as they were married for 22 years. So, how much do you know about Ray Charles’s wife?

Ray charles's wife
American singer, pianist and songwriter Ray Charles performs in a concert, circa 1985. Photo: Hulton Archive
Source: Getty Images

Once you marry a famous personality, more so someone legendary in their industry, the popularity element will hardly fade. Even though Della Beatrice Howard Robison divorced Ray Charles more than three decades ago, her popularity never deteriorated, and people are interested in her as much as before.

Della’s profile summary

  • Name: Della Beatrice Howard Robinson
  • Date of birth: 1928
  • Age: 94 years old
  • Birthplace: United States of America
  • Nationality: American
  • Sexual orientation: Straight
  • Height: 5 feet 5inches
  • Weight: 167.5 pounds
  • Ex-husband: Ray Charles (died June 10, 2004)

Who is Ray Charles’s wife?

How many wives did Ray Charles have? First, it would be essential to note that the talented musician passed on June 10, 2004, leaving behind a massive estate and 12 children (fathered with 10 different women). Also, Ray Charles was not married at the time of his death.

The actor’s most popular wife is Della Beatrice, whom he married in April 1955. However, because of his drug addiction and extramarital affairs, the two divorced after 22 years of marriage in 1977.

Who is Della Beatrice Howard Robinson?

Della was born in 1928 in the United States of America in a small town in Texas. Ray Charles Jr. Ray Charles’ son mentioned in his book, You Don’t Know Me: Reflections Of My Father, that his mother was two years older than his father.

Since Ray Charles was born in September 1930, it can be concluded that Della was born in 1928 and is 94 years old as of 2022.

Della’s parents were from Richmond, Texas, and she completed her education in the region. One of the most exciting stories about her upbringing is that she walked more than sixteen miles every day going to school. Della studied at a local learning institution until fourth grade, when she moved to Houston.

Her family owned about 80 acres of land, divided into different households. She resided in a one-bedroom frame house of ten acres with her grandmother and uncle George, and they raised cotton, corn, potatoes and peanuts at the farm.

Della Beatrice’s parents never married, and she never knew the primary reason for taking the stance. To make matters worse, her father was not present when she was growing up, which bothered her a lot. He had married another woman and moved to Houston.

Della was a gospel singer

Della Bea Charles was quite big for her age and could easily pass for eighteen. Therefore, she moved from her mother’s house and lied to get a Social Security and health card, which she used to get a job, waiting tables.

Later, she got another job singing with a gospel group. And that is how she joined Cecil Shaw’s gospel group at 16 when she had just graduated from high school.

Della started singing at a local ration and in concerts. Once her group were under contract, they started singing in large gatherings and more prominent churches. So, she started her music career at a young age that she was booming by the time she reached 18.

How did Della Beatrice Howard Robinson meet Ray Charles?

Ray Charles's wife
An old photo of Ray Charles, Della Robinson (M) and their children. Photo:
Source: UGC

Charles heard Della’s voice on the radio and was deeply moved. They later met and started a relationship. So, when did Ray Charles get married? They married in Dallas in 1955 in a junky room when Della was only 26 years old.

The first years of marriage were relatively smooth. Ray Charles’ career hadn’t broken through, and he was still struggling financially. Nevertheless, the couple had their first child, Ray Charles Robinson Jr., in May 1955. They welcomed two more children in the next three years, David Robison and Robert Robinson.

Unfortunately, Charles life on the road, drug addiction and infidelity caused great conflict in the marriage. During the time, Charles had an infamous affair with Mary Ann Fisher after two years of being married to Della Beatrice. In addition, he reportedly saw two other women, Margie Hendricks and Mae Mosley Lyles.

Della Beatrice filed for divorce in 1976, but details were not made public. They officially divorced in 1977, going their separate ways.

Ray Charles’s other wives

Ray Charles first wife was Eileen Williams, whom he married on July 31, 1951. Unfortunately, the marriage only lasted a year as they separated in 1952. It wasn’t until 1955 that he married again, making it his longest marriage that lasted 22 years.

However, the jazz singer had numerous extramarital affairs and got children out of wedlock despite his marriages. He had a six-year-long affair with Margi Hendrix, and they had a son in 1959 called Charles Wayne.

Ray Charles’ affair with Mae Mosley gave him a daughter, Renee, born in 1961. He also had another child, Sheila Raye Charles (who died of breast cancer on June 15, 2017), with Sandra Jean Betts. The singer fathered 12 children with ten different women over the years.

Della Robinson other relationships

Della Robinson also has undergone several failed marriages, just like her ex-husband, the late Ray Charles. She married a guy in her early twenties, but the relationship was short-lived. In addition, her then-husband would physically abuse her on numerous occasions.

She later met another person at church, but it also did not work out. Finally, she acted impulsively and left him, moving to New York City. Della later met her third husband, Ray Charles, at a Texas hotel and later married. This was her final marriage.

Where is Della Beatrice today?

Since her divorce from her husband, Ray Charles, Della Rose Robinson has been under the radar, keeping a low profile. However, it seems like the media attention moved away from her. Therefore, there is not much known about her whereabouts today.

Quick facts about Della Beatrice Howard Robinson

  1. What happened to Ray Charles’ wife? After heroin addiction, extramarital affairs on tours, and volatile behaviour, Charles’ marriage to his wife, Della Beatrice, deteriorated and divorced in 1977. This was after 22 years of marriage.
  2. How many wives did Ray Charles have? The singer, songwriter, pianist and composer had two wives but sired his three children with his second wife. Other children were born to different women he had affairs with throughout his career.
  3. How much did Ray Charles leave his wife? Charles left $500,000 to each of his 12 children and the rest of his $75 million estate, and licensing rights to his music, to Ray Charles Enterprise.
  4. Who was Charles’s first wife? Ray Charles’ first marriage was to Eileen Williams between 1951 and 1952. He did not have any children with her.
  5. How old is Della Beatrice now? Della was born sometime around 1928, which means that she is 94 years old as of 2022.
  6. How many times has Della Beatrice been married? Della has been married thrice. Ray Charles was her third husband and longest marriage of 22 years.

The most popular Ray Charles’s wife is Della Robinson, as they were married for 22 years. The legendary singer was only married twice, his first marriage lasting only one year. However, the weirdest thing about him is that he sired 12 children with ten different women.

Are you looking for more information about Julius Dein’s girlfriend? featured a fascinating article about the English street magician and illusionist’s girlfriend, Estelle Berglin.

Did you know that she is a popular model, YouTuber and Instagram influencer? Aside from her husband’s popularity, she has created an excellent reputation for herself in her industry. So, what else do you know about her?

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Rédigé par Laure Bal

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