|Birth name||Stephen Pate Bray|
|Born||December 23, 1956|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S
Saturn Sounds Studios
|Associated acts||Breakfast Club, Madonna, The Jets|
Stephen Pate Bray (born December 23, 1956) is an American songwriter, drummer, and record producer. He is best known for his collaborations with Madonna, being a member of the band Breakfast Club, and for winning the 2017 Grammy Award for the Best Musical Theater Album of the Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple. Bray owns and operates Saturn Sound recording studios and the Soultone Records label.
Collaborations with Madonna
Bray dated Madonna before her fame when she was attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for dance in 1976. He moved to New York after receiving a call from Madonna in November 1980; at that time she was a member of the band Breakfast Club in Queens. Madonna wanted to form a new band and invited Bray to play the drums. They formed the band Emmy and the Emmys. They also rekindled their romance and together they moved into The Music Building in Manhattan for a while.
Madonna obtained a recording contract with Gotham Management, managed by Camille Barbone in 1981. Barbone put together a new band with session musicians although Madonna wanted Bray as her drummer. Barbone knew they had been romantically involved and didn't want love affairs among band members. The music she was producing with them was more rock oriented but Madonna had her eyes set on dance music. She and Stephen Bray continued working on a parallel project, more club oriented.
After being signed to Sire Records in 1982, Madonna opted not to work with Bray for her debut album, but they continued collaborating with her second album Like a Virgin (1984). Together, they wrote and produced some of the biggest hit songs of the 1980s, including several of Madonna's biggest hits. The songs Bray and Madonna composed often followed a distinctive structure, many of which repeat the song's second verse and bridge before fading out with the chorus. Their partnership concluded with their work on Madonna's album Like a Prayer (1989).
The Breakfast Club
Following Madonna's rise to stardom, Bray rejoined Breakfast Club, and the quartet signed first with ZE Records and later with MCA. The band's eponymous first album was released in early 1987, preceded by the Top 10 hit "Right on Track". Bray co-wrote most of the albums' songs with bandmate Dan Gilroy, and Bray produced several songs. The band's second album was not released, and Breakfast Club broke up shortly afterward.
The Color Purple
|"Ain't No Big Deal"||Barracuda (original demo by Madonna)|
|"Over and Over"|
|"Into the Groove"|
|"Say It, Say It"||E.G. Daily|
|"Where's the Party"|
|"Cross My Broken Heart"||The Jets|
|"Sendin' All My Love"|
|"Each Time You Break My Heart"||Nick Kamen (feat. Madonna)|
|"Right on Track"||Breakfast Club|
|"Causing a Commotion"||Madonna|
|"Keep It Together"|
|"Baby Going Shake"||Royalty|
|"Get Over"||Nick Scotti (original demo by Madonna)|
|"Count the Days"||Kylie Minogue|
|"Rhythm of Love"|
|"Little Black Book"||Gina G|
|"That's Why"||The Party|
|"Change on Me"|
|"One More Chance"||Madonna|
|"Desperately Seeking Susan"|
|"Working My Fingers to the Bone"|
|"First Is a Kiss"|
- Pennington, Juliet (November 16, 2017). "In the VIP Lounge with songwriter Stephen Bray". Boston Globe.
- Graff, Gary (August 25, 1987). "Bray's Loyalty to Madonna Pays Off". Chicago Tribune.
- Cross, Mary (2007). Madonna: A Biography. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-313-33811-3.
- Christopher, Anderson (October 14, 1991). "Madonna Rising". New York Magazine: 45.
- Anderson, Christopher (November 4, 1991). "The Faces Of Madonna". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
- Azizian, Carol (May 17, 2008). "Broadway musical 'The Color Purple' heading to Fox Theatre in Detroit". Flint Journal. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- "Complete list of nominees for Tony Awards". USA Today. May 17, 2006. Retrieved October 19, 2013.