Gray performs in Memphis, April 2011
|Birth name||Natalie Renee McIntyre|
September 6, 1967 |
Canton, Ohio, United States
Macy Gray (born Natalie Renée McIntyre; September 6, 1967) is an American R&B, jazz and soul singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actress, known for her distinctive raspy voice, and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday.
Gray has released six studio albums, and received five Grammy Award nominations, winning one. She has appeared in a number of films, including Training Day, Spider-Man, Scary Movie 3, Lackawanna Blues, Idlewild and For Colored Girls. Gray is best known for her international hit single "I Try", taken from her multi-platinum debut album On How Life Is.
In 2016, Gray made a large artistic leap by changing labels to record an album produced with binaural sound. Stripped (Chesky Records, 2016) marked the singer's first steps into the world of audiophile recordings.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Music career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Discography
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and career
Macy Gray was born in Canton, Ohio, to Laura McIntyre, a math teacher, and Otis Jones. While studying scriptwriting at the University of Southern California, 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 while working as a cashier in Beverly Hills. Together, they wrote a large collection of songs and recorded them in Solo's studio. The demo tape gave Gray the opportunity to sing at jazz cafés in Los Angeles. Despite Gray's dislike of her own voice, Atlantic Records signed her. She began recording her debut record but was dropped from the label upon the departure of A&R man Tom Carolan, who had signed her to the label. Macy returned to Ohio but in 1997 Los Angeles based Zomba Publishing Senior VP A&R man Jeff Blue, convinced her to return to music and signed her to a development deal, recording new songs based on her life experiences, with a new sound, and began shopping her to record labels. In 1998, she landed a record deal with Epic Records. She was on one of the songs from the Black Eyed Peas' debut album, "Love Won't Wait".
On How Life Is (1999–2001)
Gray worked on her debut album in 1999 with producer Darryl Swann. Released in the summer of 1999, On How Life Is became a worldwide smash. Despite the first single "Do Something" stalling on the charts, the release of the second single "I Try" made the album a success for Gray. "I Try" (which was originally featured in Love Jones and the Jennifer Aniston-starring romantic-comedy Picture Perfect in 1997) was one of the biggest singles of 1999, and subsequent singles "Still" and "Why Didn't You Call Me" ensured the album became triple platinum in the US, quadruple platinum in the UK, and in Canada.
In 2001, Gray won the Grammy Award for 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 Fame exhibition game after forgetting the lyrics to the American national anthem.
The Id and The Trouble with Being Myself (2001–2005)
Gray's The Id featured appearances by John Frusciante and Erykah Badu on the single "Sweet Baby" (which was co-written with longtime collaborator Joe Solo). The album peaked at number eleven on the Billboard 200. It fared even better in the UK, where it reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and was certified gold by the BPI. The underperformance in the United States, compared to her debut album, may have been due to The Id being released just a week after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In 2002, she appeared in Spider-Man and contributed a remix of her song "My Nutmeg Phantasy" to its accompanying soundtrack. Gray also worked with Santana on the track "Amoré (Sexo)", for his album Shaman.
Also in 2002, she appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation CD in tribute to Nigerian afropop pioneer Fela Kuti, Red Hot and Riot. She appeared on a remake track of Kuti's classic, "Water No Get Enemy" alongside prominent neo soul, hip hop and R&B artists, D'Angelo, the Soultronics, Nile Rodgers, Roy Hargrove, and Kuti's son, Femi Kuti.
She recorded a duet with Zucchero called "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 soundtrack to 8 Mile. A cartoon based on Gray's childhood was being developed, 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 US and a top forty hit in the UK, although the album was not as well received by fans. Nevertheless, it 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 Latifah and Lil' Kim on "Cell Block Tango/He Had it Comin'."
Return to music and Big (2007–2010)
Gray began 2007 by being kicked off-stage at a concert in Barbados for profanity (which was part of the show), but she was not 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), titled Big. Two singles, "Finally Made Me Happy" and "Shoo Be Doo", were released from the album. "What I Gotta Do", another track from the album, is featured on the Shrek the Third soundtrack. It is 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 to date. It features collaborations with Natalie Cole, Fergie, Justin Timberlake, and will.i.am, who co-executive produced the album with Gray.
The album was moderately successful in the US, where it debuted and peaked at number 39 on the Billboard 200, becoming Gray's highest-charting album since The Id. Big reached number 62 on the albums chart in the UK, 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 on their album charts.
On July 7, 2007, Gray performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gray and her band members wore clothes bearing political messages. Gray's dress carried the message "Darfur Red Alert".
In 2008, Gray launched a new campaign under the name " Nemesis Jaxson", with the single, "Slap a Bitch".
The Sellout (2010–2011)
The first single from Gray's fifth studio album The Sellout, "Beauty in the World", is featured in the final sequence of the series finale, "Hello Goodbye", of the ABC television series, Ugly Betty. "Beauty in the World" was also used as the theme in multiple videos created by Microsoft to promote Internet Explorer 9. Both singles released from the album ("Beauty in the World" and "Lately") were top 10 hits on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs Chart.
Upon its release, The Sellout received generally mixed reviews from most music critics. Metacritic gave it an average score of 57, based on 15 reviews; Andy Gill of The Independent gave it three out of five stars; while AllMusic writer John Bush shared a similar sentiment and panned Gray's songwriting.
Covered, Talking Book, and The Way (2011–present)
In 2011, Gray signed a deal with 429 Records and started recording a series of covers for her next studio album Covered. The album was officially released on March 26, 2012. The album's first single was "Here Comes the Rain Again" (originally performed by Eurythmics). On February 16, 2012, Gray participated in the Sanremo Festival as a guest, performing alongside Gigi D'Alessio and Loredana Berte.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey's Where Are They Now, Gray opened up about her problems with drug abuse, stating that she was ill-prepared for the level of fame she received. The interview coincided with the release of her album The Way, released in October 2014 on Kobalt Records. A world tour was announced shortly after its release.
In August 2008, Gray headlined at the 2008 Summer Sundae music festival in Leicester, England, performing cover versions of Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?", Deee-Lite's "Groove Is in the Heart" and Radiohead's "Creep". For the gig, her band wore pink Andy Warhol wigs.
In 2008, Gray collaborated with Australian DJ and singer Kaz James on the song "Can't Hold Back". The single was released in early 2009 in Australia and is credited to Kaz James featuring Macy Gray.
Gray opened the Macy Gray Music Academy in 2005.
- 1999: On How Life Is
- 2001: The Id
- 2003: The Trouble with Being Myself
- 2007: Big
- 2010: The Sellout
- 2012: Covered
- 2012: Talking Book
- 2014: The Way
- 2016: Stripped
2015 November Rule (2015 Film)Aunt Hildi (Hildiguard)
|2000||Ally McBeal||Herself||"Hope and Glory" (season 3, episode 20)|
|2000—2001||Saturday Night Live||Herself||"Freddie Prinze, Jr./Macy Gray" (season 25, episode 10)
"Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray" (season 27, episode 3)
|2001||SSX Tricky||Seeiah Owens (voice)||Video game|
|2001||Training Day||Sandman's Woman|
|2002||MDs||Jess||"Wing and a Prayer" (season 1, episode 7)|
|2003||Scary Movie 3||Herself||Cameo|
|2003||Gang of Roses||Assassin|
|2003||When I Was a Girl||Herself||"Singers" (season 1, episode 11)|
|2004||Around the World in 80 Days||Sleepy Frenchwoman|
|2004||Lightning in a Bottle||Herself||Cameo|
|2004||American Dreams||Carla Thomas||"Real-to-Reel" (episode 12, season 2)|
|2004||That's So Raven||Rhonda||"Taken to the Cleaners" (season 3, episode 4)|
|2004||Blue's Clues||Herself||"Bluestock" (season 6, episode 9)|
|2005||Lackawanna Blues||Pauline||TV movie|
|2005||The Crow: Wicked Prayer||Carman|
|2005||Duck Dodgers||Diva (voice)||"Diva Delivery/Castle High" (season 2, episode 10)|
|2005||American Dragon: Jake Long||Trixie's Grandmother/Miss Jenkinks (voice)||"Act 4, Scene 15" (season 1, episode 5)
"Professor Rotwood's Thesis" (season 1, episode 8)
|2005||1-800-Missing||Cleo||"A Death in the Family" (season 3, episode 13)|
|2007||Macy Gray's Big Special||Herself|
|2009||Dancing with the Stars||Herself||Season 9|
|2009||Head Case||Herself||"The Wedding Ringer" (season 3, episode 1)|
|2010||For Colored Girls||Rose/Lady in Pink||Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble|
|2012||The Paperboy||Anita Chester|
|2013||Mama Black Widow||Hattie Mae||Announced|
|2014||The Grim Sleeper||Margette|
|2015||Brotherly Love||Mrs. Taylor|
|2016||Fuller House||Herself||"Funner House" (season 1, episode 3)|
|2016||Cardboard Boxer||Den Mother|
Awards and nominations
|Awards and achievements|
|MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist for "I Try"
|Brit Award for International Female Solo Artist
|Brit Award for International Breakthrough Act
"I Will Remember You (Live)" by Sarah McLachlan
|Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "I Try"
"I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado
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Born: Canton, Ohio, 1967; Soeder, John. "Macy Gray is philosophical about slumping sales". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
Ohio drivers-license records indicate she was born Sept. 6, 1967, making her 36.
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-  Archived February 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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-  Archived July 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Teri vanHorn and Tina Johnson (March 13, 2001). "Macy Gray Plans The Id LP, 'Spider-Man' Role – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
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- "Zucchero Like The Sun (From Out of Nowhere) lyrics on Yahoo! Music". Ca.music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
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- Roslyn on 2 August 2007 8:36 pm (February 5, 2007). "MACY GRAY: Back Into the Swing of Things – Entertainment Newswire". Black Voices. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "Macy Gray – The Trouble With Being Myself – Review". Uncut.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
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- [dead link]
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- "Electronic Arts – 2001 – SSX Tricky Games Review". CultureCartel.com. November 22, 2002. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
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