Usher, Demi Lovato to Celebrate Ray Charles at the White House Next Week

Ray Charles
Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Many artists experience their biggest sales after death. An example from the last decade: Ray Charles, whose 2004 album Genius Loves Company was released two months after he died, topped the charts and has since sold 3.2 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles" is to be broadcast Friday on PBS stations nationwide.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Usher, Demi Lovato, Yolanda Adams and The Band Perry are among the artists heading to the White House to celebrate the late Ray Charles.

The White House says Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Anthony Hamilton, Brittany Howard, Sam Moore and Jussie Smollett have also been invited to Wednesday's taping of "Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House." The program is to be broadcast Friday on PBS stations nationwide.

It will be the 16th such program held under President Barack Obama.

Firsy lady Michelle Obama has planned a daytime workshop with some of the invited artists for more than 130 middle, high school and college students from around the country.

Charles, known for such hits as "Georgia on My Mind" and "Hit the Road Jack," died in June 2004.