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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 13:34 GMT
Coffee sippers can sing the blues
Ray Charles
Charles said he had enjoyed recording the duets
Legendary blues singer Ray Charles has teamed up with famous artists to bring duets to coffee drinkers.

Customers at Starbucks in Los Angeles will be able to burn Charles' next album - a collection of duets with the likes of Norah Jones - while they sip.

The 73-year-old artist is the first to sign up for the coffee bar chain's new digital music service.

Customers can order tracks they like, have them burned onto a CD and buy it when they leave.

The service was unveiled in a store in Santa Monica, California, on 16 March but Charles is the first major musician to produce songs specifically for it.

'Inspirational' songs

It will eventually be rolled out to Starbucks' 7,500 coffee houses worldwide.

Don MacKinnon, Starbucks music and entertainment vice-president, said: "This recording marks the first time that Starbucks will be involved with the creation of music from such legendary icons.

"We are excited that this new venture will be launched with a renowned artist such as Ray Charles, and with songs that are sure to inspire music fans of all ages."

The CD features Charles performing handpicked songs with artists including BB King, Elton John, Johnny Mathis, and Willie Nelson.

He said: "The duets project has been a tremendous experience.

"I am working with some of the best artists in the business, as well as some of my dearest friends."

The music coffee houses will allow customers to use computers to access, personalize music and create their own CDs.

Starbucks 'to offer music to go'
12 Mar 04  |  Entertainment

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