- Macy Gray
Infobox Musical artist
Name = Macy Gray
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Natalie Renee McIntyre
Alias = Natalie Hinds
Born = birth date and age|1967|9|6
Ohio, United States
Genre = R&B, soul,
neo soul, funk rock, alternative hip hop
Singer-songwriter, record producer, actress
Years_active = 1998–present
Label = Epic, Geffen,
will.i.am music group
URL = [http://www.macygray.com/ www.macygray.com]
Macy Gray (born Natalie Renee McIntyre on
September 6 1967; [cite web |url=http://www.cleveland.com/homegrown/index.ssf?/homegrown/more/macy/grayarea.html |title=Macy Gray is philosophical about slumping sales |accessdate=2007-01-13 |work=The Plain Dealer |date= January 6 2004] also credited as Natalie Hinds in her music) is an American R&B, soul, and neo soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress, famed for her raspy voice and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holidayand Betty Davis.
To date, Gray has released four studio albums, one compilation album, and one live album—with her fourth studio album, "Big", released in March 2007—and has received five
Grammy Awardnominations, winning one. She has appeared in a number of films including " Training Day", "Spider-Man", and "Idlewild". Gray is best known for her international hit single " I Try", taken from her multi-platinum debut album " On How Life Is".
Gray was born in Canton,
Ohio, and decided to pursue a career in music after being expelled from Western Reserve Academyin Hudson. However, Gray's initial success came as a surprise. While attending the University of Southern California(graduated 1990 [ [http://alumni.usc.edu/baa/calendar_28dinner_recipients.htm USC Black Alumni Programs & Black Alumni Association ] ] ) she agreed to write songs for a friend, and a demo session was scheduled for the songs to be recorded by another singer. When the vocalist failed to turn up, Gray recorded them herself. She then met writer/producer Joe Solo at her job as a cashier in Beverly Hills. Together, they wrote a large collection of songs and recorded them in Solo's studio. The demo tape created a lot of attention and consequently landed Gray the opportunity to sing at jazz cafés in Los Angeles, California. Despite Gray's dislike of her own voice, her vocals garnered lots of attention around the jazz scene, and Atlantic Recordssigned her. Months later, Gray gave her demo album to Atlantic, but the label was dissatisfied. Going through the break-up of her marriage and expecting her third child, Gray retreated back to Canton. During this time, the demo tape was still making the rounds, and in 1998 she landed a record deal with Epic Records. She was also on one of the songs from The Black Eyed Peas' debut album, Love Won't Wait.
"On How Life Is" (1999)
During the whole of 1998, Gray continued to work on her debut album. Released in the summer of 1999, "
On How Life Is" became a worldwide smash. Despite the first single "Do Something" stalling on the charts, it was by word of mouth and the release of the second single " I Try" that the album really became a success for Gray. "I Try" (which was originally featured in the Jennifer Aniston-starring vehicle, the romantic-comedy Picture Perfectin 1997) was one of the biggest singles of 1999, and subsequent singles "Still" and " Why Didn't You Call Me" ensured the album becoming triple platinum in the U.S., quadruple platinum in the UK, and triple platinum in Canada.
In 2001, Gray won the
Grammy Awardfor "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" for "I Try", which was also nominated for "Song of the Year" and "Record of the Year". She then collaborated with Fatboy Slim, The Black Eyed Peas, and Slick Rick(on the song "The World Is Yours", from the " Rush Hour 2" soundtrack), as well as acting for the first time in the thriller " Training Day". In August 2001, Gray was booed off the field at the Pro Football Hall of Fameexhibition game after forgetting the words to the American national anthem. [cite web |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20010807/aponline133518_000.htm |title=Macy Gray Is Booed During Anthem |accessdate=2007-05-26 |work= Associated Press|date= August 7 2001]
ubsequent albums (2001–2005)
In the midst of the controversy, Gray's "The Id" became a commercial stillborn, largely stalling on the U.S. charts, in spite of appearances by
John Fruscianteand Erykah Baduon the album's hit single "Sweet Baby", (which was co-written with longtime collaborator Joe Solo), though the album managed to peak at number eleven on the "Billboard" 200. However, it reached number one on the UK Albums Chartand was certified gold by the BPI. The underperformance in the United States, compared to her debut album, may have been attributed to the fact that "The Id" was released just a week after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2002, she appeared in "Spider-Man" as herself and worked with Santana on the track "Amoré (Sexo)", from his album "Shaman". She also recorded a duet with Zuccherocalled "Like The Sun (From Out Of Nowhere)" which featured Jeff Beck on guitar released in 2004 on " Zu & Co.", a duets collection. Her song "Time of My Life" was included in the soundrack to "8 Mile". A cartoon based on Gray's childhood was being developed at one point, but it never came to fruition.
In 2003, Gray released her third studio album, "
The Trouble with Being Myself", to rave reviews. The lead single " When I See You" became a radio hit in the U.S. and a top forty hit in the UK, although the album wasn't as well received by fans. It nevertheless became Gray's third top twenty album in the UK. A greatest hits collection and a live album were subsequently released: " The Very Best of Macy Gray" (2004) and "Live in Las Vegas" (2005). Additionally, Gray was featured on Marcus Miller's 2005 album " Silver Rain", on a cover of Prince's 1986 song "Girls & Boys". She also appeared on the soundtrack to the film "Chicago" with Queen Latifahand Lil Kimon "Cell Block Tango/He Had it Comin'."
"Big" (2007): return to music
Gray began 2007 badly after being kicked off-stage at a concert in
Barbadosfor profanity (which was part of the show), but she wasn't aware that it was against the law in that country. She gave a public apology that night to avoid arrest.
In March, Gray released her fourth studio album (sixth overall), entitled "Big". Two singles, "
Finally Made Me Happy" and " Shoo Be Doo", have been released from the album. "What I Gotta Do", another track from the album, is featured on the " Shrek the Third" soundtrack. It is largely considered Gray's comeback album, after a four-year hiatus since her last studio album. The album was critically acclaimed and seen by some as her best work yet. It featured collaborations with Natalie Cole, Fergie, Justin Timberlake, and will.i.am, who co-executive produced the album with Gray. "Big" was the second release from will.i.am's record label, will.i.am Music Group, after Fergie's " The Dutchess".
The album was moderately successful in the U.S., where it debuted and peaked at #39 on the "Billboard" 200, becoming Gray's highest-charting album since "The Id". Surprisingly, "Big" did not achieve great success in the UK, where it reached #62 on the albums chart, her lowest-charting UK album, but it did achieve some success in several other countries including
Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Finland, reaching the top forty of their albums charts.
PBS's "Soundstage" live concert series premiered a Gray concert on
July 5. The one-hour concert included songs from "Big"—"Finally Made Me Happy", "Shoo Be Doo", "Ghetto Love", "What I Gotta Do", "Glad You're Here", "Slowly", and "Everybody". Other songs performed were "Caligula", "Why Didn't You Call Me", "Oblivion" with the set ending with "I Try". Future airdates can be found on [http://www.pbs.org/wttw/soundstage/mgray/featured.htm PBS's website] .
7 July 2007, Gray performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earthat CopacabanaBeach in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro. [cite web |url=http://liveearth.msn.com/artists/macygray |title=Live Earth Artist: Macy Gray |accessdate=2007-08-08 |work= Live Earth] Gray and her band members wore clothes with politically-motivated messages. In her dress, it was written "Darfur Red Alert".
"Big" was later promoted on the Internet via the UK version of the Apple iPhone launch demo, due to Gray's past popularity in the UK
Gray appeared in the eighth season of Bravo's "
Celebrity Poker Showdown", playing for Habitat for Humanity. She finished in third place, behind Robin Tunneyand Christopher Meloni, and ahead of Joy Beharand Andy Dick.
Gray was a Neopet for a short period of time on the popular virtual pets site of the same name. She was changed into the Kau during July 2000.
In 2002 she was the voice for Seeiah Owens in the video game
SSX Tricky. On the same year, she made a brief appearance in Spider-Man as a singer at a parade
Gray sang the theme song for Nickelodeon's
As Told By Ginger.
Macy Gray appeared at the 2008 Gulf Air's Bahrain Grand Prix. She stated she liked the Ferrari team and also found Jenson Button 'cute'.
In August 2008, Gray Headlined at the 2008
Summer Sundaemusic festival in Leicester, England. Gray's reception was warm. The crowd got on their feet and helped her belt her smash-hit I Try. She also wowed the crowd with covers of Rod Stewart's Do You Think I'm Sexy, Dee-Lite's Groove Is In The Heartand Radiohead's Creep.For the gig, Macy's band wore pink Andy Warhol wigs.
September 28, 2008, Gray sang the American national anthem as part of the Israeli flag-raising ceremony at the Israeli Consulateof Los Angeles[ Bloomekatz, Ari B. [http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-flag29-2008sep29,0,4260835.story Consulate in Los Angeles raises Israeli flag] . Los Angeles Times. 29 Sep. 2008. ] [Tugend, Tom. [http://www.jewishjournal.com/articles/item/israeli_flag_flies_at_consulate_for_first_time_20080928/ Israeli flag flies at consulate for first time] . The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. 29 Sep. 2008.]
Gray was married to Tracy Hinds from 1990 to 1998, with whom she had three children: Aanisah (in January 1990), Tahmel (in December 1991), and Cassius (in 1998). [cite web |url=http://www.hellomagazine.com/profiles/macygray/ |title=HELLO! Profiles - Macy Gray |accessdate=2007-04-28 |work=
Hello!|date= ] She opened up a music academy called The Macy Gray Music Academy in 2005 and it was the scene for an episode of MTV's " Punk'd" because of "black mold in the building". Gray has been highly praised for her work with the academy and has given underprivileged children and teenagers the chance to perform.
Gray has two
tattoos—one on her right wrist with all her children's names and the other on her leg that has a rose and says "Daddy". She was an early supporter of a Barack Obamapresidential campaign, almost two years before his official announcement, she wore a shirt saying "Barack Obama for President" during the Hurricane Katrina fundraisers.
Macy has an older sister called Delores Gray who works in vending machine replenishment.Fact|date=July 2008
Awards and nominations
American Music Awards
** 2000, Favorite New Artist - Pop/Rock
** 2000, International Breakthrough Act (WON)
** 2000, International Female (WON)
** 2001, Best Rap/Hip-Hop Clip of the Year: "Request Line"
** 2001, Best Direction: "Request Line"
** 1999, Best New Artist
** 1999, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: "Do Something"
** 2000, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: "I Try" (WON)
** 2000, Record of the Year: "I Try"
** 2000, Song of the Year: "I Try"
MTV Video Music Awards
** 2000, Best New Artist: "I Try" (WON)
** 2000, Best Cinematography: "Do Something" (WON)
** 2000, Best Female Video: "I Try"
** 2000, Best Art Direction: "I Try"
** 2001, Breakthrough Video: "Geto Heaven Remix T.S.O.I. (The Sound of Illadelph)"
** 2001, Best Hip-Hop Video: "Request Line"
Soul Train Awards
** 1999, Best R&B/Soul Album - Female: "On How Life Is"
* [http://www.geffen.com/macygray Macy Gray on the Geffen Records website]
* [http://www.nme.com/news/macy-gray/17373 Macy Gray goes naked for Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit]
NAME = Gray, Macy
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = McIntyre, Natalie Renee; Hinds, Natalie
SHORT DESCRIPTION = American singer-songwriter and actress
DATE OF BIRTH =
September 6 1967
PLACE OF BIRTH = Canton,
Ohio, United States
DATE OF DEATH =
PLACE OF DEATH =
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