David Gray

David Gray biography

David Gray (born 13 June 1968 in Altrincham, Cheshire) is an English singer-songwriter. Gray released his first studio album in 1993 and received worldwide attention after the release of White Ladder six years later. It was the first of three UK chart-toppers in six years for Gray, the latter two of which also made the Top 17 in the US. He has been nominated for four Brit Awards - twice for Best British Male.

Early career

Gray was born in Altrincham and grew up in Sale before moving with his family to Solva, Pembrokeshire. He went on to attend the Carmarthenshire College of Art. He later attended the Liverpool School of Art.

Gray's first two albums A Century Ends and Flesh were issued in 1993 and 1994 respectively and led to Gray becoming popular in folk-rock circles, but both failed in terms of commercial sales.

In 1996 Gray released his third album, Sell, Sell, Sell. With his first two albums having been entirely composed of acoustic folk music, this album utilized his now-trademark blend of folk, alternative rock and electronics for the first time. Despite critical acclaim, the album did not chart, but the song "Late Night Radio" received some airplay on alternative UK radio stations.

White Ladder (1998-2002)

The re-release of Gray's fourth record album, White Ladder, in 2000 on ATO Records, brought him commercial success and critical attention. The album included his best-known songs: "This Year's Love", "Babylon", "Please Forgive Me" and "Sail Away". White Ladder was originally released on Gray's own label IHT Records in November 1998. After its re-release, combined with the release and success of single "Babylon," it sold 100,000 copies in Ireland alone, making it number one for six weeks, and it remains the biggest-selling album in Ireland. In August 2000, "Babylon" hit No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart; it remains his biggest UK hit to date. In the United States, the album received a boost from jam-band leader Dave Matthews, who made it the first release by ATO Records, the record company he co-founded. "Babylon" was also the first of three US chart entries for Gray to date.

thumb The album was No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart, two years and five months after its original release, spending a total of 151 weeks on the chart. Aside from "Please Forgive Me," which charted at No. 72 on the UK Singles Chart, all other single releases charted within the Top 20: the re-released "Please Forgive Me" charted at #18, and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" and "Sail Away" peaked at #26.

The year 2001 also saw the release of two compilation albums of Gray's early works and unreleased material, The EPs 1992-1994 and Lost Songs 95-98, both of which followed White Ladder into the Top 20 in the UK Albums Chart.

In November 2002, Gray released the follow-up to White Ladder, entitled A New Day at Midnight. The new release did not receive the same critical acclaim as its predecessor, but still went straight in at Number One, famously beating Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates's debut album What My Heart Wants to Say to the summit and selling nearly 150,000 copies in its first week of release; it went on to reach platinum status within a year, eventually being certified four times platinum overall, and was the second-biggest selling album by a UK artist in 2002, behind Pop Idol winner Will Young's debut album From Now On. A New Day at Midnight spawned two further UK Top 30 hits in "The Other Side" and "Be Mine" and a minor US hit with "Dead in the Water".

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