Macy Gray – best known for her international hit single “I Try” in 1999 – has made a comeback in the music world in the last year, appearing on stage on the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in 2007 wearing a T-shirt that read “Darfur Red Alert”. And it has always been agreed that when Gray sings soul music, it really comes from the soul.
The 40-year-old, who supports organizations such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation and First Star, reached into that soul in 2005 to form the M Gray Music Academy – an educational facility that offers young people in the LA area after-school and weekend activities, including voice and drum lessons and recording techniques. The Academy has been highly praised for giving underprivileged children and teenagers the chance to perform and find meanings to lives that would otherwise be forgotten.
“Music education is a tool to expose its students to beauty, confidence and self-expression,” said the singer. “It serves to cultivate imagination, individuality and excellence. It teaches collaboration and co-operation.”
Gray also showed her soul when she started an organization called One by One after Hurricane Katrina. Her goal is to help families get back on their feet, and she began by choosing 8 families from the Superdome in Houston and providing them with apartments until they were able to support themselves. A portion of her touring proceeds goes to the organization, which works together with the Red Cross to provide aid for the families in need.
Macy exhibited her support for the Elton John AIDS Foundation by appearing in nothing but a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes during one of her concerts in London.
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