Celebrities | Music | Pop Culture | 00s

Macy Gray Opens Up About Her Drug Use And The Real Cost Of Her Sudden Fame

Macy Gray is a Grammy Award-winning singer that we all became obsessed with when her song "I Try" was played repeatedly on every radio station in 2000. No one else sounded like her, and it was one of the funnest songs to sing along with. But Gray admits that she had a hard time dealing with the level of fame that she reached.

Gray appeared on an episode of Oprah's Where Are They Now? and spoke about the changes she went through. “I had a lot of money then, and I had never had money before. And you have people telling you how great you are and screaming out your name.”

She admits that the fame went right to her head. “I was a massive a**hole. I probably made a lot of people upset.”

She didn't only let it affect her attitude, but she also turned to drugs. “My drug use started as a result of being on tour,” Gray said. “My crew was from England. All they did was smoke hash all day, and they knew where to get the good ecstasy. So, you start playing with stuff, and then, suddenly, it’s like a crutch.”

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She explained just how bad it got...

She began to party at night, staying out late and getting very little sleep. She developed this mysterious persona, but she admitted that it wasn't all it seemed. “I actually will admit this: I used to do press with my glasses on because I’d be sitting there falling asleep. Literally. They’d be talking to me and I’d be asleep,” she said. “They would be like, ‘She’s an enigma! She doesn’t answer anyone’s questions... When you ask her a question, she just stares. She’s very intense.’ But, I would be asleep.”

She decided to change her ways when she realized the toll it was having on her body. “I looked in the mirror one day, and I had bags [under my eyes] and my skin was doing weird stuff. That really scared me, so, I swear to God, I quit. I quit that day, just because my looks.”

Looking back on her career, she understands that she made some mistakes. “I had all that success really early and I don’t think I had a plan to make it last,” Gray said. “I just kind of took it for granted and assumed that it would be like that for the rest of my life. I pissed a lot of people off and I think I stopped working as hard as I used to.”


She has been working her way back, trying to regain some ground in the music industry, but she is grateful that she has come out on the other side. “I’ve learned so much. I believe that I was supposed to go on that journey, and things had to happen the way they had to for me to be what I can be now. For me to get off drugs, for me to just stop being an idiot... I had to go through all of that stuff.”