MACY GRAY TOOK THE POP SCENE by storm when she was nominated for two Grammy Awards and her song “I Try” became a radio favorite in the spring of 2000. Her accompanying debut record “On How Life Is” eventually reached triple platinum status at the end of 2000.
Hailed as the savior of funk, Gray’s persona was hard to resist. Her wacky lyrics, unique voice and potent soul-funk combination were a fresh addition to CD shelves, which were dominated by saccharine teen pop, Latin crossover hopefuls and that persistent, big-voiced gal from Canada.
Gray, whose real name is Natalie McIntyre, was born in Canton, Ohio, in 1970. Influenced by Prince, Sly Stone, James Brown and other soul greats, Gray developed a passion for music early in life. When she moved to Los Angeles to study screenwriting, she started to write lyrics and recorded a demo tape, which quickly circulated within L.A.’s music scene. Gray was invited to front a pop jazz band that played the L.A. hotel circuit, a lucrative gig that taught Gray the ropes of performing in front of a live audience.