Jason Gray (musician)

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Jason Gray
Jason Gray CCM.jpg
Jason Gray in concert
Background information
Birth name Jason Jeffrey Gay
Born (1972-01-18) January 18, 1972 (age 42)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Genres Contemporary Christian
Occupations vocalist, singer, songwriter
Instruments Tenor, Guitar
Years active 1990–present
Labels EMI CMG, Centricity
Associated acts Jeremy Camp
Sheila Walsh
Website www.jasongraymusic.com

Jason Jeffrey Gay (born January 18, 1972) is an American contemporary Christian singer-songwriter, who is better know by his stage name Jason Gray. He released a number of albums independently under his real name Jason Gay. Since 2006, he is signed to Centricity Music releasing more albums with them under the name Jason Gray.

Career[edit]

He was born and raised in Southwestern Minnesota where he spent six years in youth ministry, before going into full time music ministry in 1999 as an independent artist. He now lives near the Twin Cities area. Gray has a speech disorder, as a person who stutters,[1] his work emphasizes finding strength in weakness.[2]

Gray released four independent records before signing with Centricity Music in 2006. Centricity released his first major label record, "All The Lovely Losers" in 2007. Centricity Music ChristianityToday.com calls Gray one of "Christian music's best kept secrets."[3][4]

Gray has collaborated with artists such as Sara Groves, Andrew Peterson, Joel Hanson (frontman for 90s Christian rock band PFR), Andy Gullahorn, Randall Goodgame, Jason Ingram, Thad Cockrell, Andy Osenga (of Caedmon's Call) and others. He has toured with Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, Matthew West, Shawn McDonald, downhere, Big Daddy Weave, The Afters, Mark Schultz and others.[5]

He garnered his first No. 1 single when "Nothing Is Wasted" reached the top spot on the Soft AC Chart in May 2013. [6] Also in May 2013, he was honored at ASCAP's 35th Annual Christian Music Awards with the "Most Performed Song Award" for his song "Good to Be Alive" co-written with Brandon Heath and Jason Ingram. The song was a Top 5 single on Christian radio and was released on Gray's album A Way to See in the Dark.[7]

Charity[edit]

Gray was honored as one of "Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans" in 2003 by the Minnesota Junior Chamber for his volunteerism, civic leadership, and humanitarian work with World Vision's "Hope Initiative", which addresses the needs of children orphaned by AIDS in Africa and other third-world countries. Gray has been to Africa in 2003 and 2006, and is known for his advocacy of AIDS orphans.[8] His passion for understanding service to the poor as a form of worship is expressed in his song "Fade With Our Voices" from his 2009 release Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue. In 2010, Gray concluded the World Vision-sponsored tour "Make a Difference Tour 2010" with Third Day, Toby Mac, Michael W. Smith and Max Lucado.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Jason Gray was born and raised in Minnesota. His mother used to make her living by performing in bar bands for a long time and touring. Gray lived in a broken family. Conceived out of wedlock, though his parents married later, disagreements continued leading to a bitter divorce and custody battle when Gray was just six. His mother remarried, but his step father became increasingly abusive and turned into drug dealing, and got involved in organized crime. They parted ways after he threatened his mother and her children after her conversion and her decision to quit singing in bars in favor of church music and revival recitals.[10]

Gray himself converted when he was 15. He learned to the play guitar after graduating from high school. He suffers from stuttering, but this impediment does not affect him while he's singing. He claims he was greatly influenced by classical and folk music particularly lyric-driven singer-songwriters like Simon & Garfunkel, Gordon Lightfoot, Dan Fogleberg, Billy Joel, Duran Duran, U2, Peter Gabriel.[10]

Gray was born Jason Gay, but added an "r" to his last name in 2006 "to improve his marketing".[11]

He is married to Taya[4][12][13] and has three sons, older twin sons, Kipper and Jacob, and a younger son Gus. Gray's album Christmas Stories: Repeat The Sounding Joy features Gray's two older boys providing background vocals and hand-claps on the album, but it's Gray's youngest son, Gus, who actually takes the lead vocal.[14]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Title Peak
position
Billboard 200
Peak
position
Christian
Albums

[15]
Peak
position
Heatseekers
Albums

[16]
Type of release Record label Notes
Credited as Jason Gay
1997 The Singer & the Song Studio album Independent release
2001 A Place Called Hope Studio album
2005 The Better Part of Me Studio album Eight tracks of the album re-released with altered track-listing in 2007 as All the Lovely Losers
Credited as Jason Gray
2007 All the Lovely Losers 43 Studio album Centricity Music First album as Jason Gray
2009 Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue 29 16 Studio album Special two-disc edition titled Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue: Special Edition
2011 A Way to See in the Dark 15 20 Studio album
2012 Christmas Stories: Repeat the Sounding Joy 22 Holiday album
2014 Love Will Have the Final Word 141 11 2 Studio album

Other albums and EPs[edit]

Year Album Title Peak
position
Billboard 200
Peak
position
Christian
Albums

[17]
Type of release Record label Notes
Credited as Jason Gay
1999 Postcard Maxi single Independent release Featuring pre-A Place Called Hope versions of
*"A Little More Like Jesus"
*"The Prodigal"
2002 Live Vol. 1: Hoping Live album
Credited as Jason Gray
2008 Acoustic Storytime (Live Songs and Stories) Live album Centricity Music
2011 Song Cycles: From Work Tapes to Remixes Remix album Remix project featuring Derek Webb
2013 Nothing Is Wasted EP EP Contains the single
"Nothing Is Wasted"

Singles[edit]

Year Single title Peak positions Album
Christian
Songs

[18]
2010 "For the First Time Again" 31 Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue
"More Like Falling in Love" 13
"Do You Hear What I Hear?" 43 Bethlehem Skyline, Vol. 2
2011 "I Am New" 16 Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue
"Remind Me Who I Am" 5 A Way to See in the Dark
2012 "Good to Be Alive" 5
"Christmas Is Coming" 20 Christmas Stories: Repeat the Sounding Joy
"Joy to the World" 22
2013 "Nothing Is Wasted" 28 Nothing Is Wasted EP
"With Every Act of Love" 16 Love Will Have the Final Word
Appearances on other compilations
  • 2007: "Mary Did You Know, Miriam" on compilation album Bethlehem Skyline
  • 2010: "Love Has a Name" and "Do You Hear What I Hear" on compilation album Bethlehem Skyline Volume 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ last name of presenter. Mnsu.edu. Retrieved on May 3, 2012.
  2. ^ Centricity Records[dead link]
  3. ^ "The Better Part of Me - reviewed by Russ Breimeier - Crosswalk.com". Christianitytoday.com. September 1, 2005. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Jason Gray signs with Centricity Records". Thechristianpulse.com. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Jason Gray – Music[dead link]
  6. ^ Jason Gray Hits #1 with New Single. ChristianActivities.com (May 30, 2013). Retrieved on May 30, 2013.
  7. ^ "Jason Gray receives ASCAP award for "Goo to Be Alive"". May 8, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Community of the Cros Ministries: Jason Gray returns to the Community Coffeehouse". Communityofthecrossministries.com. April 16, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ Make a Difference Tour Website. Makeadifferencetour.com (April 16, 2012). Retrieved on May 3, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Tony Cummings (January 25, 2012). "Jason Gray: The thoughtful songsmith once referred to as The Stuttering Artist". CrossRhymes.co.uk. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ Jason Gray – All the Lovely Losers – Christian Music Today. Christianitytoday.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2012.
  12. ^ "Jason Gray - Who Brings the Change - "More Like Falling In Love" - Part 7". JesusFreakHideout. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ "NewsReleaseTuesday: "More Like Falling In Love" by Jason Gray". Newreleasetuesday.com. June 1, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jason Gray To Release First Holiday Album - Christmas Stories: Repeat The Sounding Joy". JesusFreakHideout.com. August 6, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Jason Gray in Billboard Christian Albums Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Jason Gray in Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Jason Gray in Billboard Christian Albums Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Billboard.com: Jason Gray in Christian Sings Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 

External links[edit]