Born on September 6, 1967 in Canton, Ohio, Macy Gray is an R&B singer-songwriter and actress who is best known for her songs and very distinctive raspy voice. Among her credentials include four studio albums, a compilation album, a live album, a Grammy Award, and several films. The daughter of a math teacher, she briefly worked when she was 12 but was fired for tardiness. She then decided to pursue a musical career professionally, after she was expelled from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson at age 12. She eventually graduated from the University of Southern California in 1999, when she agreed to write songs for a friend. When the vocalist didn’t turn up, however, she recorded it herself. She eventually started performing at jazz cafés around Los Angeles, until Atlantic Records signed her. Unsatisfied, she retreated back to Canton unil 1998, when this time Epic Records signed her.
Macy Gray’s debut album was released in the summer of 1999, becoming a worldwide hit. Her second single I Try spelled huge success for her, becoming one of the biggest singles of that year. It was also featured in the rom com Picture Perfect starring Jennifer Aniston. In 2001, she won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, while I Try was nominated for Song of the Year. She was embroiled in a controversy in 2001, when she was booed off the field during a football exhibition game after she forgot the words to the national anthem. Her next album, which stalled on the US charts peaked at the eleventh spot on the Billboard 200, but reached number one on the UK Albums Chart.
Gray also had cameos on several films, including Spider-Man, Scary Movie 3, and Lighting in a Bottle; series such as Ally McBeal and Blue’s Clues, , while she starred in the 2005 flick Domino. In 2009, Macy Gray was cast as one of the celebrities on the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars.