From Ohio History Central
Macy Gray singing on stage.
Natalie McIntyre, better known as Macy Gray, is an American actress, musician and singer.
Natalie McIntyre was born in Canton, Ohio, in 1967. She was shy as a child and self-conscious about her raspy voice. As a child, she studied classical piano. McIntyre later enrolled at the University of Southern California to study screenwriting.
At USC, McIntyre began to write song lyrics for her friends' productions. On one occasion, a singer did not attend a recording session and McIntyre sang her own songs. Once her voice began to be heard in Los Angeles, McIntyre developed a following. She began to perform with a jazz band at various clubs and hotels and established her own after-hours club, known as We Ours. McIntyre also adopted Macy Gray, the name of an elderly neighbor in Canton, as her stage name.
Gray signed a record contract with Atlantic Records, only to have the company refuse to release her album. Disappointed, Gray returned to Canton. In April 1998, Epic Records signed Gray to a contract, and in 1999, Gray's debut album, "On How Life Is," was released. She received Grammy nominations as Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal for this album. She did not win in either category. The next year, she won a Grammy for her song "I Try." Her debut album achieved "triple platinum" or sales of more than three million copies in 2000.
Gray has released several albums. She has also released singles with other artists and acted in several movies, including the motion picture version of Spider-Man in 2002.