According to many sources (even including content descriptions of illegal DVDs, and a script of the show that's currently for sale on Ebay), Ray Charles was supposed to be among the live performers (with a.o. Sheena Easton, Alabama, Rick Springfield, Little River Band, Frankie Smith, Air Supply, Rick James, Olivia Newton-John, Wonder Love, The Bee Gees, Chubby Checker, Chaka Khan, Kool & The Gang, Teena Marie, Stephanie Mills, Juice Newton, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Helen Reddy and The Whispers).
More particularly he seems to have been scheduled for a line-up (with a.o. Glen Campbell, Donna Summer, Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick, Ray Parker Jr, Ella Fitzgerald and Quincy Jones) who were to participate in a salute to Stevie Wonder for receiving the AMA's Award of Merit.
But the clip below (don't miss Quincy Jones singing, and Stevie shedding a tear!) is proof that Ray didn't make it.
There is a realistic chance that Charles did send his greetings through a pre-recorded video message (that's what a.o. Paul McCartney did).
Does anybody remember seeing Ray - who knows more?