Soul veteran Ray Charles plans to return to performing in March (04), after recovering from hip replacement surgery.

Charles, 73, is especially excited about his 2 March concert at New York City's LINCOLN CENTER because it will be his first performance in eight months.

He says, "I am absolutely thrilled at the prospect of going back to work before the public I love.

"Music and performing are in my blood. I need them like oxygen."

Charles last performed in July (03), but acute discomfort in his left hip forced the GEORGIA ON MY MIND singer to call off his remaining 2003 tour dates. It was the first time Charles has cancelled a tour in 53 years.

08/01/2004 21:23