Amy Ray

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Amy Ray
Ray performing in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 2012
Ray performing in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 2012
Background information
Birth nameAmy Elizabeth Ray
Born (1964-04-12) April 12, 1964 (age 59)
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
OriginGeorgia, U.S.
GenresFolk rock
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • acoustic guitar
  • electric guitar
  • mandolin
  • harmonica
Years active1985–present
Member ofIndigo Girls Edit this at Wikidata

Amy Elizabeth Ray (born April 12, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter and member of the contemporary folk duo Indigo Girls with Emily Saliers.[1] She also pursues a solo career and has released six albums under her own name, and founded a record company, Daemon Records.


Ray in 2008

Born in Decatur, Georgia, Amy Ray met Emily Saliers when they both attended the same elementary school.[2] They began performing together and recorded a demo in 1981. After graduation, Ray and Saliers went to different colleges with Ray attending Vanderbilt University.[3] By 1985, they had both transferred to Emory University in Atlanta and formed the Indigo Girls.[3] In 1986, Ray graduated from Emory with majors in English and Religion.[citation needed]

In March 2001, Ray released her first solo album, Stag, a southern and punk rock album. The Butchies, a punk band whose members include Kaia Wilson, Melissa York, and Alison Martlew, provided support for five songs, and Joan Jett played on "Hey Castrator". In April 2005, Ray released the softer edged[4] Prom, and in December 2006, she released Live from Knoxville. Her fourth solo album, the melodic[4] Didn't It Feel Kinder, was released in August 2008. Lung of Love, which has more of an indie-rock sound,[4] was released in 2012.[4][5]

Her backup band for her Stag tour was The Butchies. In 2004, when she embarked on her Prom tour, she brought Les Nuby (guitar), Will Lochamy (drums), and Jody Bleyle (bass). Tara Jane O'Neil replaced Bleyle when she began maternity leave in October.[citation needed] Ray's backup band for her 2012 Lung of Love tour was The Butchies. Jenn Stone, former keyboard player for Kesha, also performed on the tour.[5]

Side projects[edit]

Kaia Wilson and Ray on stage in 2012

In addition to the Indigo Girls[6][7] and her work as a solo artist, Ray also runs an independent record label, Daemon Records, which she founded in 1990 and which is based in Decatur, Georgia.[7] Some performers signed to Daemon include Girlyman, Magnapop, Nineteen Forty-Five, Michelle Malone, Three Finger Cowboy, Danielle Howle and the Tantrums, Gerard McHugh, New Mongrels, Grady Cousins, The Oblivious, Snow Machine, Utah Phillips and Rose Polenzani.

She often collaborates with The Butchies, a punk band featuring drummer Melissa York and vocalist/guitarist Kaia Wilson. She has contributed the live track "Lucy Stoners" on Calling All Kings & Queens (2001) and the Mr. Lady Records sampler album as well as a live recording of "On Your Honor" on a compilation for Home Alive.

Ray is also an activist involved in multiple political and social causes, including gay rights, low-power broadcasting, women's rights, indigenous struggles, gun control, environmental protection and the anti-death penalty movement among others. She has made several trips to Chiapas, Mexico to support the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

In 1993, she and Emily Saliers co-founded Honor the Earth with Winona LaDuke. Honor the Earth's mission is "to create awareness and support for Native [American] environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native [American] communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard."[8]

Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) appears on her 2014 album Goodnight Tender, and she and Vernon continue to maintain a friendship.[9]

Ray was also a judge for the 3rd[10] and 11th Annual[11] Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.

Personal life[edit]

Ray uses she/her pronouns and is a lesbian.[12] Ray lives in the foothills of North Georgia, where she and her partner, Carrie Schrader, have a daughter, Ozilline Graydon.[13][14] In March 2021, Ray spoke on the LGBTQ&A podcast about having gender dysphoria and being genderqueer.[15]

Ray is a Christian.[16]


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live from Knoxville (2006)
  • MVP Live (2010)
  • The Tender Hour: Amy Ray Live from Seattle (2015)


  1. ^ Monger, Timothy (2021). "Amy Ray | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  2. ^ Burns, Rebecca (June 2003). "From Brenda Lee to Ludacris: A Sonic Portrait of Our City". Atlanta Magazine. Emmis Communications. 43 (2): 80. ISSN 0004-6701. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Malkin, John (2005). Sounds of freedom: musicians on spirituality & social change. Parallax. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-888375-47-3.
  4. ^ a b c d Baca, Ricardo (March 3, 2012). "Amy Ray: An Indigo Girl gone solo — but only temporarily". The Denver Post.
  5. ^ a b Rodman, Sarah (April 13, 2012). "Amy Ray's 5 top things about touring as a solo girl". The Boston Globe.
  6. ^ Caramanica, Jon (June 17, 2009). "Where the Outdoors Are Humming With Melodies and Messages". New York Times.
  7. ^ a b Mina Carson; Tisa Lewis; Susan M. Shaw (2004). Girls rock!: fifty years of women making music. UP of Kentucky. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-8131-2310-3.
  8. ^ "Campaigns". Honor the Earth. Archived from the original on October 6, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  9. ^ "Episode 22 – Amy Ray (Indigo Girls)". Cigar City Management. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  10. ^ "3rd Annual IMA Judges" Archived November 12, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Independent Music Awards. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "11th Annual IMA Judges. Independent Music Awards. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  12. ^ "Amy Ray, the Indigo Girls, and the Soundtrack of Our Gay Lives". The Advocate. March 30, 2021. Archived from the original on March 30, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  13. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (January 10, 2014). "Amy Ray talks new country album, new baby and Indigo Girls". Access Atlanta. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  14. ^ "Indigo Girls' Amy Ray on tattoos and coming out - Windy City Times News". Windy City Times. November 2, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  15. ^ "LGBTQ&A: Amy Ray: Indigo Girls FOREVER (!!!)". Apple Podcasts. May 4, 2021. Archived from the original on May 4, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  16. ^ Jerome, Helen (November 16, 2022). "Ten Year Town: Amy Ray". Holler. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  17. ^ "Amy Ray Band On Mountain Stage". March 7, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2019.

External links[edit]