Ray Charles' daughter leading drug awareness campaign

The daughter of legendary musician Ray Charles has been in the Austin area this week on a mission to help those battling drug addiction.

Sheila Raye Charles is leading the Raye of Hope Recovery Crusade across Texas and 15 other states raising awareness and education about drug abuse. Charles visited the Travis County Jail earlier this week and a number of other stops across Travis County not only share her story but to also let those people know there is hope and is using her story as proof.

"Yes, my father is Ray Charles but I also had five children by four different men, three crack-cocaine addicted babies," Charles said, "I went to federal prison not once, not twice, but three times. I was addicted to crack for 20 years but when we start to talk about those things."

Charles, a musician and author, overcame those battles and is using her negative experience as a positive for others currently going through the same things she once did.

"People (in jail, or lost) can relate to it and it changes their whole concept and mindset of who they think we are." Charles said, "We aren't sitting up high and looking down at them, we are coming to them in a peer-to-peer level saying we understand where you came from and we are right there with you."

Charles' tour will continue throughout the early part of 2016. For more information on her stops and help you can go to www.sheilarayecharles.com.

On April 15th and 16th, Charles will be back in Austin performing a tribute concert for her father, the late Ray Charles, at the Clearport Club downtown.

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