#OverIt Moment: Despite her evident success, it still takes her a minute to garner the courage to even speak in front of a group of people - let alone sing - due to how often she was made fun of for her deep and raspy voice.
Macy Gray was born on September 6, 1969 in Canton, Ohio. She attended the screenwriting program at USC. As a kid, kids teased her for her “funny voice,” making her deeply self-conscious about the way she sounded. So she erased even the idea of ever wanting to become a singer. However, during her time at USC, she unwittingly made her musical debut when a friend of hers, whom she had written lyrics for, failed to show up to her recording session. She departed USC in 1989 to join a jazz band, just a few credits short of earning a degree. Hustling in Los Angeles, she signed with Atlantic Records in 1994. However, with three children and a divorce, life became hectic, and the singer was dropped by the label. However, Gray could not be stopped by this hurdle, landing a new deal with Epic Records. Gray’s debut album, On How Life Is (1999), garnered the applause she had been waiting for due to its lyrical genius and vocal reminiscence. “I Try” won her a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and a VMA for Best New Artist in 2000. Gray used her voice to transform from the shy, bullied young girl she once was to a provocative musical sensation who doesn’t shy away from any topic, including drug addiction, abusive relationships and sexual liberation.