Conan Gray

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Conan Gray
Conan Gray U Street Music Hall March 2019 1.jpg
Gray performing at U Street Music Hall in 2019
Background information
Native name
Gurei Konan
Birth nameConan Lee Gray[2][3]
Born (1998-12-05) December 5, 1998 (age 21)
Lemon Grove, California[4]
OriginGeorgetown, Texas
  • Singer-songwriter
  • internet personality
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2013–present
Associated acts
YouTube information
Subscribers1.66 million
Total views144,671,103
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2017
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2018
Updated January 1, 2020

Conan Lee Gray (born December 5, 1998)[4] is an American singer-songwriter and social media personality. Gray released his debut EP Sunset Season in November 2018 before supporting Panic! at the Disco on the Pray for the Wicked Tour in February 2019. He is set to release his debut studio album, Kid Krow, through Republic Records in March 2020.

Early life[edit]

Conan Gray was born on December 5, 1998, in Lemon Grove, California, to an Irish father and a Japanese mother. As an infant, his family moved to Hiroshima, Japan, due to his grandfather needing medical care. After living there for two years, the family moved back to California. Gray used to speak Japanese fluently, but has since lost his proficiency.[5]

Gray's parents divorced when he was three years old. In a "Draw My Life" video, he details his experiences with divorce as a young child.[6] As his father was in the military, Gray moved 12 times throughout his childhood, moving three times during sixth grade alone. Gray was frequently bullied throughout grade school. At one point, he was one of only five Asian children at his school.

Gray eventually settled in Georgetown, Texas, as a preteen, where he remained for the rest of his teenage years. Gray's life in central Texas inspired much of his art and music. He was accepted to UCLA, and moved to an apartment in Los Angeles, California in September 2017. As recalled in his "Draw My Life" video: "I like to think of my life in pieces. It's been picked up and moved and rearranged, so many times, that you can barely even tell it's been lived in the same lifetime."[6]


2015–2017: Career beginnings on YouTube[edit]

He created his official channel in 2013,[7] and began creating videos at age nine.[8] Gray's vlog content centers heavily on his life in small-town Texas, and he is often hailed for his appreciation of Americana-related nostalgia.[9] Gray has recorded music, showed his art, and created other videos for his vlog, with more than twenty-five million views by 2017.[10] Gray began studying communications at UCLA. Soon after he started his classes, he took a hiatus from school to pursue a music career.[11][8]

2018–2019: Sunset Season[edit]

Gray self-released his debut single, "Idle Town", in March 2017. The song gained over 14 million streams on Spotify and 12 million views on YouTube.[12][9] In October 2018, Gray released the single "Generation Why" on Republic Records,[12] which was described as "a rallying call to millennials."[13] In November 2018, Gray released the five-track EP Sunset Season which includes the songs "Idle Town", "Generation Why", "Crush Culture", "Greek God", "Lookalike". The EP peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and at No. 116 on the Billboard 200.[14][15] Gray embarked on a North American tour in support of the EP with help from Girl in Red.[16]

Gray made his late-night television debut when he performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers on the eve of February 2019,[17][18] before performing several shows as an opening act for Panic! at the Disco during their Pray for the Wicked Tour.[19] He played concert festivals such as The Great Escape in addition to touring nationally.[20]

In February 2019, Gray re-released the single "The Other Side",[21] after originally publishing it on YouTube in 2016 on the eve of the first day of his senior year at high school.[22][21] Between March and October 2019, Gray released a series of singles off of his debut album, Kid Krow, namely "Checkmate", "Comfort Crowd", and "Maniac",[23] and an independent single, “The King”. In October 2019, He embarked on his second headlining tour of North America with support from acclaimed New Zealand musician Benee as well as American recording artist UMI.[24] As of October 2019, Gray's catalog had gained over 250 million streams across all platforms collectively.[25] Gray was awarded the 2019 Shorty Award for Best YouTube Musician,[26] and was nominated for Breakthrough Artist at the 2019 Streamy Awards.[27]

2020–present: Kid Krow[edit]

Throughout the second week of 2020, Gray teased fans online by tweeting daily hints about the title of his debut album.[28] On January 9 2020, Conan Gray revealed the title of his debut album, Kid Krow, and wrote, "I say more on this album than I've ever said in my life, and I can't wait to tell you all of my secrets. Love y'all."[29] Gray released "The Story", the final single off of the album later that day.[30] Gray will be performing at Coachella in April 2020.[31]



Gray has cited The Dixie Chicks, Adele, and Lorde as his main musical influences,[32] also expressing a mutual[33] admiration for V of BTS.[34] He has named Taylor Swift as his favorite lyricist, stating that he "was raised by [her]" and that he is "the largest Swiftie".[35] He told People, "I love her so much. I love her music. I love what she does. I love her lyricism. I love how she’s handled her career. She’s just such a f—g boss. I grew up listening to her music since I was nine years old. I feel like she shaped me so much as a person."[36]

Critical reception[edit]

Gray has been named as a "Gen Z vlogging sensation and venue-packing pop powerhouse" by Paper,[9] "the pop prince of sad internet teens" by Teen Vogue,[37] “Gen Z’s ascendant king of sad boy pop” by i-D.[11]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details
Kid Krow

Extended plays[edit]

Title EP details Peak chart positions
Sunset Season
  • Released: November 16, 2018
  • Label: Republic, UMG
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming, vinyl
116 2 57


Song Year Peak chart positions Album

"The Other Side"[A] 2016 Non-album single
"Idle Town" 2017 Sunset Season
"Generation Why" 2018
"Crush Culture"
"Grow"[B] Non-album single
"The King" 2019
"Checkmate" Kid Krow
"Comfort Crowd"
"Maniac" 30
"The Story" 2020 34

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2019 Shorty Awards Best YouTube Musician Himself Won [26]
Streamy Awards Breakthrough Artist Himself Nominated [27]




  1. ^ "The Other Side" was originally published to YouTube on August 22, 2016. The song was later released on all platforms on February 8, 2019.[22][21]
  2. ^ "Grow" was originally published to YouTube on September 2, 2017. The song was later released on all platforms on November 14, 2018.[39]


  1. ^ Conan Gray [@conangray] (April 26, 2018). "there's three ways to spell it. it don't matter. こなん コナン 胡男" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Gray, Conan Lee. "ASCAP Ace Search". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  3. ^ Conan Gray [@conangray] (October 26, 2018). "my middle name is "lee" so all i gotta do is name my child "fam"" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b Dean Stone, Russell (August 2, 2019). "Conan Gray". Notion. Retrieved December 28, 2019. The story starts back in Lemon Grove, San Diego, where Conan Gray was born on 5th December 1998.
  5. ^ Gray, Conan (March 18, 2013), "50 Facts About Me !!!", YouTube, retrieved July 6, 2019
  6. ^ a b Conan Gray (June 12, 2016), Draw My Life ( For 100,000 ), retrieved July 6, 2019
  7. ^ "Conan Gray". YouTube.
  8. ^ a b Ohlheiser, Abby (June 25, 2018). "YouTube is new way to get famous; at VidCon, tweens want to be next in line". Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Wetmore, Brendan (April 9, 2019). "Conan Gray Hits a Small Town Crescendo". PAPER. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Celemen, Elijah (September 22, 2017). "In Focus: 3 Baking Videos We Love From YouTube Vlogger Conan Gray". ABS-CBN. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Greenwood, Douglas (April 24, 2019). "conan gray is gen z's ascendant king of sad boy pop". i-D. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Wess, Mike (October 8, 2018). "One To Watch: Conan Gray Makes His Major Label Debut With "Generation Why"". idolator. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  13. ^ Andrew Powell, W. (November 15, 2018). "Watch: Conan Gray's 'Generation Why'". The Gate. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  14. ^ "Heatseekers Albums Charts - December 1, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  15. ^ "Billboard 200: December 1, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  16. ^ Lee, Craig (November 12, 2018). "Conan Gray sets out for The Sunset Shows tour 2019". AXS. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  17. ^ "Conan Gray releases new single "Comfort Crowd"". Universal Music Group. September 5, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  18. ^ Late Night with Seth Meyers (2014– ): Michael Moore/Busy Philipps/Conan Gray/Brendan Buckley, IMDb, January 31, 2019, retrieved January 18, 2020
  19. ^ Smyth, David (May 10, 2019). "Virtually famous: Conan Gray". Evening Standard. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  20. ^ "Seven Performances That Defined The Great Escape 2019". Clash. May 14, 2019. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  21. ^ a b c Ehrlich, Helen (February 18, 2019). "An Analysis of Conan Gray's "The Other Side" Re-Release". Affinity Magazine. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Gray, Conan (August 22, 2016), "The Other Side - Original Song", YouTube
  23. ^ Damshenas, Sam (October 30, 2019). "Conan Gray battles an army of evil exes in Maniac music video". Gay Times. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  24. ^ "Conan Gray on Instagram: "HEY Y'ALL 🖤 so excited to announce that @whoisumi and @beneemusic are coming on my upcoming north american tour with me!! check out dates…"". Instagram. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  25. ^ "Conan Gray releases new single "Maniac" today". Universal Music Group. October 25, 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Conan Gray". Shorty Awards.
  27. ^ a b Jarvey, Natalie (October 16, 2019). "Lilly Singh, David Dobrik and Emma Chamberlain Earn Streamy Award Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  28. ^ Jones, Lexi (January 6, 2020). "Conan Gray Teases Fans With Clues About Debut Album". Grit Daily. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Gray, Conan (January 19, 2020). "Conan Gray on Instagram: "My debut album "Kid Krow" is coming out March 20th. The last song on the album "The Story" comes out everywhere tonight at midnight. I say…"". Instagram. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  30. ^ "The Story - Single by Conan Gray", Tidal, retrieved January 9, 2020
  31. ^ Shifferaw, Abel (January 3, 2020). "Here's the Full Coachella 2020 Lineup". Complex. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  32. ^ "Conan Gray". Republic Records.
  33. ^ Paper [@papermagazine] (November 19, 2019). ""I want to try doing music in the style of @conangray or "All Tinted." #V..."" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  34. ^ Conan Gray [@conangray] (October 4, 2019). "I'M STUNNED @BTS_twt I LOVE Y'ALL can i be your backup singer" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  35. ^ "Conan Gray Guesses the Lyrics to Taylor Swift Songs | Lyric Challenge", YouTube, Seventeen, December 11, 2019, retrieved December 12, 2019
  36. ^ Mier, Tomás (January 10, 2020). "Conan Gray Says His Forthcoming Album Kid Krow Was Inspired by His 'Pretty Tough' Childhood". People. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  37. ^ Bergado, Gabe (June 20, 2019). "Meet the Pop Prince Making Music for Sad Internet Teens Everywhere". Teen Vogue. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  38. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. November 4, 2019. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  39. ^ "Grow – Conan Gray (Official Video)". Retrieved July 11, 2019 – via YouTube.