As Macy Gray hits the road on a small tour to celebrate the 14th anniversary of her Grammy-winning debut album, On How Life Is, we’re getting to know the unique vocalist a little bit better.
ESSENCE.com caught up with the “I Try” singer to talk about her afro, guilty pleasures, dream acting role and more. Find out how well you know Gray below.
1. How long she’s had her afro
MACY GRAY: Forever! Like way back when my mom didn’t have time to do my hair so she would just leave it out and that’s when it started. She would be rushing to work and she would just pick it out real quick… But I’ve done the whole thing. I’ve had perms, I had a weave for about a week, I’ve worn wigs before—but I always go back to [afros] because I like it and it’s wash and wear. It’s easy. And I get real nervous when I put chemicals in my hair. I definitely rolled with a weave for too long and it drove me crazy.
2. Who’s her celebrity crush
GRAY: Yesterday, I saw Bradley Cooper in the elevator. He was so beautiful. I didn’t realize he was so tall. He hair was curly, I guess it was permed for a new role. So I asked him, ‘Is your hair always curly like that and you straighten it out for a movie?’ laughs He just looked at me like I was crazy. He said, ‘No, no. I’m doing a job.’ And that was it. We got off the elevator. But he’s pretty.
3. What her guilty pleasures are
GRAY: I have tons of them… I’m trying to think of one I can admit to. Oh I know, Britney Spears’ Blackout album is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. I love that record! I listen to it a lot before my shows—I listen to the whole thing. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but that’s a good record.
4. What else she does before a big show
GRAY: We all get together and pray. I walk around in my heels a lot so I can get use to my heels. I warm my voice up. I usually don’t eat the day before a show. I don’t want to feel heavy on stage. I don’t want to be belching and stuff. I usually don’t eat that day.
5. Where she keeps her Grammy and other awards
GRAY: It’s right in my living room. In like this huge showcase with all my awards.
6. Her dream acting role
GRAY: I think somebody needs to make a movie about Whoopi Goldberg. Her life is very fascinating. I’m sure they will one day.
7. On her unique voice
GRAY: Yea, I’ve always had a funny voice. They’ve been making fun of my voice as long as I can remember. Especially when I was a kid. It got a little deeper. It was actually way worse when I was younger. In school I was crushed because I was always getting made fun of. I got quiet, I didn’t speak much. I got to the point where I couldn’t speak in public. I still do. It still takes me a minute to get the courage to speak in front of a lot of people.