LEAD SINGER Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his uncanny incarnation of the genius of soul, Ray Charles.
PITCH-PERFECT? A classically trained pianist, Foxx lip-synched Charles' vocals but accurately mimicked his keyboard fingerings on screen.
HUMBLE ORIGINS The adult Ray frequently recalls his impoverished, Depression-era boyhood in Georgia and Florida, which included being raised by a single mom (Sharon Warren), helplessly watching his brother drown in a bathtub, and losing his sight to glaucoma.
HIGH NOTE Vamping to kill time during a concert that has run short, Ray and his band improvise the epic ''What'd I Say'' on the spot.
TRAGIC ENDING? Averted. Ray cripples his career and nearly kills himself with his heroin addiction, but manages to kick and become enshrined as a pop institution.