Macy Gray, the soul singer who defies all standards of traditional pop-star beauty, will be bringing her unique voice and personal flavor to the stage at SOB's in New York City on October 9. Her internationally-acclaimed career was launched by the success of her single, "I Try," but the maven has since made her mark in film and television, not to mention the success of her music career. She has been nominated for five Grammy awards, winning one back in 2000 for the aforementioned song. Her voice is distinctive for its raspy, scratchy qualities and her unabashedly natural personal style sets her apart from the overly processed pop tarts who were similarly dominant in the early aughts. Since then, she has remained true to that unusual persona, lending it to roles in projects like "Training Day" and "For Colored Girls". These days, she's busy promoting her next album, The Way, due to be released two days before her New York City show.
Originally from Canton, Ohio, Macy Gray whet her vocal appetite by singing in jazz clubs in Los Angeles. Those gigs caused her to become described as similar to Billie Holiday, but she was reticent to accept her star power, and was initially hesitant to pursue a singing career because of the sound of her voice. Nevertheless, she was signed to Epic Records and recorded her 1999 debut album, On How Life Is. That album would go on to reach triple-platinum status in the United States, and even more successful in the U.K. The following year, she won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, a fact doused in irony considering her earlier hesitations. Soon after she landed her first acting gig, appearing opposite Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke in the Oscar-winning film "Training Day".
Although her follow-up albums haven't shattered sales records comparable to her first release, Macy Gray has continued to release deeply soulful, funky, and sweet-sounding albums. Her second album, Id, was an enormous success in the U.K. but didn't fare well back home, a disappointment commonly attributed to the album's release date of September 17, 2001. However, she still managed to keep singing, working with artists like Santana, Erykah Badu, Nile Rodgers, and D'Angelo. Her third album, The Trouble With Being Myself, performed better than its predecessor, earning her a third Top 20 album in the U.K. She then took a four-year hiatus and released Big, probably her most critically acclaimed album to date. The Sellout and Covered, her fifth and sixth studio albums, did not land her any hugely successful singles, but they allowed her to continue working in the industry by featuring songs used in television and the opportunity to release an album made up entirely of Stevie Wonder covers, Talking Book.
Now on her eighth album, Macy Gray is returning to touring, with 19 dates between now and her October 9 SOB's show. Tickets for the show are $40, and can be purchased here.