As a surname, Gray may not be as popular as other coloured surnames, but that hasn't stopped a number of singers called Gray having had chart hits in the UK. As with most shared musicians surnames, none of them are related, and their chart careers can either be hit or miss - a number of chart hits versus just the one or two. Anyroads, without much further ado, here is a look at all the singers whose surname is Gray that have had hits in the UK charts.
- Singer David Gray may well have felt that he was heading for a music career where commercial success was going to pass him by entirely. His first two albums were released in 1993 and 1993 respectively, but neither helped him to gain notoriety outwith folk circles. His third album Sell, Sell, Sell was released in 1996 and failed to chart. In 1998 he released White Ladder and it bombed. Just before the year 2000 began in earnest, the album White Ladder was re-released and the song Please Forgive Me managed to sneak in to the UK charts at number 72. No one could have predicted that nearly 7 years since his debut album that the career of David Gray was about to explode. By the end of 2001, 5 songs from the album White Ladder were hits for David Gray: Babylon (number 5 in July 2000), Please Forgive Me (re-release, number 18 in October 2000), This Year's Love (number 20 in March 2001), Sail Away (number 26 in July 2001) and Say Hello Wave Goodbye (a cover of a Soft Cell song, number 26 in December 2001). Since then David Gray continued to release albums, but in terms of singles in the UK charts they tended to drift away - only once more did David Gray manage to score a top 10 single when The One I Love hit number 8 in September 2005.
- Next up on the list of singers whose surname is Gray that have had hits in the UK charts is Dobie Gray. The US singers first grabbed the attention of the UK charts in early 1965 when the song The In Crowd hit a peak of number 25, staying on the UK charts for a total of 5 weeks. If there was a hope for a long and successful chart career in the UK on the back of that it failed to materialise. Instead, Dobie Gray had to wait more than a decade to score another hit on the UK charts when the song Out On The Floor hit number 42 in September 1975.
- Next is a one hit wonder! UK singer Dorian Gray had his one and only UK chart hit in 1968 with the song I've Got You On My Mind. It hit a peak of number 36 in March of that year. As an aside, two years later the song was covered by the White Plains, who took it to a peak of number 17 in the UK charts. As another aside, Dorian Gray was also the name of a 1980's band from Croatia!
- In 1966, the Mindbenders scored a UK number 2 hit with the song A Groovy Kind Of Love, which spent a total of 14 weeks on the UK charts. In September 1988 Phil Collins covered the song and managed to take it to the number one spot! In between times, in February 1977, UK singer Les Gray released his version and only managed to take it to number 32.
- In the Summer of 1999 Macy Gray released her first single, Do Something, but it only managed to make it to number 51! In October that year she released I Try and it broke in to the top 10, peaking at number 6. Her two releases in 2000 somewhat consolidated her chart career in the UK with the song Still hitting a peak of number 18 and Why Didn't You Call Me hitting number 36. In 2001 Macy Gray appeared on a total of 5 UK chart hits, four of which were as collaborations with others. First up was the song Demons with Fatboy Slim (16) then Geto Heaven with Common (48) then Request & Line with the Black Eyed Peas ( 31) and Sweet Baby with Erykah Badu (23). Her only 'solo' hit of that year was Sexual Revolution which only made it to number 45 in December 2001. Two years later Macy Gray had her next UK chart hit and it was to be her last when the song When I See You peaked at number 26. Since 2003, Macy Gray has continued to release music but has failed to have any chart hits in the UK and, in her home land of the US, has also struggled.
- UK producer Michael Gray had his first UK chart hit in the Winter of 2004 when the song The Weekend raced to a peak of number 7 in the UK charts. His next appearance in the UK charts was in August 2006 when he teamed up with Shelley Poole on the song Borderline, which hit a peak of number 12. Since that time, he has continued to have many 'club' hits without bothering the charts.
- If you have ever heard of the Thunderbirds then you may well know who Barry Gray is as he was the one who composed the theme tune to the hit TV programme. In the summer of 1981 the Barry Gray Orchestra took that theme tune in to the UK charts to a peak of only number 61. In the summer of 1986 they were back in the charts, this time at a peak of number 53, with a double A-side of the themes to Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet.
And that concludes the list of singers whose surname is Gray who have had hits in the UK charts. At this point though, in the interest of 'fairness' I might as well make mention of the only singer whose surname is Grey who had a hit in the UK charts - Richard Grey, who took his cover version of Tainted Love to a peak of number 52 in the UK charts in June 2007!