Prince Gave Macy Gray a Wise Piece of Advice

Legendary musician Prince has inspired countless other artists since he first debuted over half a century ago. One of the young singers he once helped was future Grammy Award winner Macy Gray.

Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum
Prince | Michael Montfort/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Prince was a music legend

Prince first broke into the music industry in the 1970s. After the release of his self-titled sophomore album in 1979, his star continued to grow over the next several years, releasing hit albums throughout the ’80s including 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign o’ the Times.

Prince was a prolific artist up until his death in 2016. In total, he released over 40 studio albums and has several No. 1 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart to his name, including “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry,” “Kiss,” and his Batman album hit “Batdance.”

In 2007, Prince performed in the pouring rain at the Super Bowl halftime show. To this day, many regard his halftime show as one of the greatest of all time.

Macy Gray wearing gray
Macy Gray | Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Prince helped Macy Gray early in her career

When Macy Gray was just starting out at the turn of the century, she got some words of wisdom from Prince himself. She looked back on her relationship with the “Raspberry Beret” singer in a 2022 interview on The Real.

“I did this club in Toronto; it’s called The Government. And it’s a really nice theatre, and after the theatre closes it turns into this crazy rave. It’s bananas,” she recalled. “So anyway, I do the show, I’m on stage, and you know how in the movies, when they want to show heaven, they show light? I’m looking up at the balcony, and a light came down. I swear to God. And it was Prince!”

“He was sitting there and he had his whole crew,” she continued. “I did the show, and then he didn’t come backstage, and I’m on the bus and I’m partying, and then one of his guys came over and he said, ‘The Artist [Formerly Known As Prince]’ would like to see you. So he takes me up to this office and the lights are out, and Prince is sitting in a room with no lights on. And I was like, ‘Holy ****!’, you know? I’m sitting here in the dark in a room with Prince with no lights.”

The two ultimately got to talking, and Prince left Gray with a sage piece of advice.”We talked for like two hours really deep, like no small-talk,” she remembered. “Before I left, he goes, ‘Remember it’s not about you, and you’ll be OK.'”

It took her many years before the gravity of what he said dawned on her. “He was saying it’s about what you give [and] it’s about how you make people feel. If you start thinking that they’re getting all crazy because of you, then that’s when it gets difficult. And he was right. And now that I’m older [I realize it],” she admitted. “At first I was like, ‘No, this is about me!'”

Macy Gray became an accomplished singer

Macy Gray has enjoyed a successful career over the past two decades. Her breakout single “I Try” was released in 1999 and introduced her to audiences everywhere, ultimately earning her a Grammy Award.

Gray has released 10 studio albums in total, with her eleventh, The Reset, coming in 2022.

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