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Friday's Connector: Macy Gray

July 13th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

With one of the most distinctive voices in the music world today, singer Macy Gray has straddled both the soul and R&B genres with great success.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/13/gray.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Macy Gray is your Connector of the Day."]

Known for her raspy voice, Gray has released a total of five studio albums since 1999 and has been awarded five Grammy nominations and one win.

Born in Canton, Ohio in 1967, Gray got her foot wet in the music world by writing songs for a friend who wanted to record a demo.

Despite particularly not liking her own voice, Gray's performances at jazz clubs around Los Angeles garnered a lot of attention and record producers at Atlantic Records eventually signed her.

Gray's debut album "On How Life Is," released in 1999 and was both a commercial and critical success.

The second single on the album, "I Try," was a huge success and many fans will instantly recognize the soulful song as Gray's. "I Try" won the Grammy award for best female pop vocal performance the same year.

Gray's second album, "The Id," was another hit for the singer, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard charts in the U.S. and reaching number one in the UK.

Gray released a third and fourth studio album in 2003 and 2007 called "The Trouble with Being Myself" and "Big".

Today, Gray is out with her fifth album called "The Sellout."

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Natalie Renee McIntyre “Macy Gray” and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Macy Gray on the following questions:
    – What is your opinion on the way your employer UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP is Helping their Artists to manage their Personal Life with their Music and Entertainment work?
    – What is your opinion on the way Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger, California Governor, is handling the Heroin, Cocaine and Marihuana use in the Dark side of the Music World in the State of California?
    – What is your opinion on Breast Augmentation, Liposuction and Tummy Tuck under Teenage Musicians?
    – What can we expect from you in 2010?
    – How are you inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting Natalie Renee McIntyre “Macy Gray” ’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    July 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  2. Bibi Ghana

    I love your voice Macy, we hope to see you in Ghana soon.

    July 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  3. terry

    How do you feel about sucessful musicians being forced to act like role models? Do you view yourself as a role model?

    July 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  4. National Anthem

    Your inability to sing our national anthem says it all. It's not like you were caught off-guard: You were invited to do it! STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES!

    July 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  5. dRugS

    Nobody is your fool. You're just another drug ho.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  6. dRugS

    Are you afraid that you will be best remembered for not being able to sing the American national anthem? Are you afraid that people are convinced you are a drug addict?

    July 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  7. dRugS

    Do you compare yourself to Whitney Houston?

    July 13, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  8. Jordi Scrubbings

    You have been nominated as Soul Sister Number 1 by the Afro-Squad. Do you think you have what it takes to be the greatest woman to sport the 'fro? Your competition is Pam Grier, Jill Scott, and Snoop Dogg in a dress.

    July 13, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  9. Jasmine

    "The Sellout" is definitely the album that is going to get Macy back on track! I've been a fan for years and this record is at the top of my list. SoulSummer also had an insightful article (http://bit.ly/b6ryIs) about "The Sellout" as well, so I encourage everyone to pick this one up ASAP!

    Glad to have you back, Macy!

    July 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  10. Chris Thomas

    You have always seemed so real, different, unique and genuine and haven't changed much. How do you manage to keep these qualities with the fame you have now?

    July 14, 2010 at 12:45 am | Reply
  11. Japan Group

    Hi Macy, The work you have done with Jerermey Ruzumna has been amazing, soulful and special. What a team. Do you plan to do more writing with Jeremey in the future? Also, When will you be back in Japan? I can't wait to meet you! 🙂

    July 14, 2010 at 1:14 am | Reply
  12. Jens

    Hi Macy. What do you most like and dislike in people and what would you like to do as your bucket list that you haven't yet done?

    July 14, 2010 at 3:18 am | Reply
  13. james

    Why did you decide to call the latest album "Sellout" – are you referring to yourself?

    July 14, 2010 at 11:01 am | Reply
  14. Marilyn

    Hey macy,if you aren't singing or writting songs,what else do you do in your free time?

    July 15, 2010 at 10:21 am | Reply
  15. Keira


    If you could re-record a classic song, which one would it be and why?

    Also, have you ever felt any pressure to 'fit the mold' from recording executives or anyone else in the biz? If so, how did you deal with it?



    July 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  16. Sue

    I am so happy Macy Gray is coming to Boston in September to perform in concert! Bravo Macy! Looking forward to seeing you!

    July 16, 2010 at 2:01 am | Reply
  17. Ben Wuloo Ikari

    I like Macy Gray's guts and vibes. She's absolutely unique. More importantly, I share her views on one of the questions the interviewer asked. That's, if she considers herself a "role model." I remember sharing this thought last week and previously.

    As Gray said, you don't carry your shoulders up all the times claiming to be a role model. Neither should anyone or society force role model-ship on people. The reason is that we're all human beings yet the concept of role model suggests a near super-human whom people especially kids or the young ones look up to.

    If these so-called role models mess up as humans, they're no longer fit for role modelists as defined by the media, which sets both social and political agendas. Please get me right;it's better to stay away from scandals. But even though one has some scandals there could be other things better in them so long as their behaviors aren't criminal-yet criminals might have the good side of them.

    This expectation always run short and then those who were looking up to you and their parents will become disappointed. My suggestion like that of Gray is that, we reduce or completely eradicate role model expectations because we're all humans and so fallible.

    The media have helped fan this misconception instead of hammering on the ideas that the parents are or should be every child's/ young person's role model. Parents are humans, but if they fail their children would understand better their explanation. These children know them better. Now, how do you become disappointed in someone such as Tiger Woods you know nothing about but his athletic abilities?

    The only disappointment should have been when he can't perform on the pitch. But see how the issue surrounding him was spinned. The ideal thing is, parents should get their acts together; they'd serve as role models for their children. Some children don't have parents, and this is understandable. Do they've uncles, aunts, grandparents, sibling who are adults, friends to their parents, etc? If they do, these people should play same role for humanity sake.

    Yes, like Gray said, there is nothing wrong with a child or youth liking the success of an artist, actor, academia and other celebrities. They'd aspire to be like them, only in their success area and not depend on their whole being. If they do, they'd be disappointed as commonly seen today.

    Ms. Gray is the only celebrity I've read about or seen that reasoned this way. She's natural, her own boss; she controls her mind and thinks rationally. She refused to becoming unnecessarily emotional, expecting to say what everyone would agree with, whether true or false (so-called politically correct) like most other celebrities do. No wonder she's the connector of the day!

    July 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Reply

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