Late singing legend Ray Charles' last ever album has gone platinum, for the first time in his 53-year career.

The LP of duets, GENIUS LOVES COMPANY, was released on 31 August (04), two months after Charles died aged 73 of complications from liver disease.

The album - Charles' first top ten LP since 1964 - sold 202,000 copies in its first week on sale, and has now passed the one million mark.

Charles achieved five gold albums, selling 500,000 copies each, during his lifetime, but had never previously reached platinum.

His producer JOHN BURK says the artist "dazzled" while recording Genius Loves Company - even as his health started to fail.

Burk adds, "He would say, 'I'm not feeling well today but I'll take a stab at it, and I can come back to it later.' And he never had to come back to it later."

20/10/2004 21:14