Strapping up the boots
Michael Ray was born in Eustis, Florida. He became familiar with country music thanks to his grandfather who taught him to play the guitar. Just like his granddad, young Ray wanted to pursue a career in the music industry. He teamed up with his grandfather to perform at community centers and different other venues.
Michael later began to develop his sound by taking inspiration from some of the biggest names like, Porter Wagoner, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. He also listened to some of the more recent artists including, Garth Brooks and developed a liking for rock and hip-hop too. When he graduated from high school in 2006, the artist decided to pursue his passion for music and for that he set off for Nashville in the hopes of making it big.
Moving to Nashville
Upon moving to Nashville, Michael Ray met David Preston who listened to his demo. Preston told him to go back and build a fan base in Florida until he could bring something original and unique to the table. The artist took the advice and returned home. He soon formed a band and played a number of shows all around southern Florida which helped him gain a loyal following. His popularity increased after his music was put on regular rotation by the Lakeland DJ for WPCV-97. Michael soon started to sell out shows in Florida and even headlined the Orlando House of Blues.
After making a name for himself in Florida, Michael Ray decided to put out his independent self-titled studio album in 2010. The record caught the attention of Tony Conway, the veteran music industry manager. Conway decided to help Michael expose his talents to a national audience and soon he was offered an opportunity of a lifetime by the CW Network.
The artist was asked to take part in the competition, ‘The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep’ where he met Big & Rich’s John Rich who mentored him. Michael quickly became a fan favorite on the show and ultimately won it. That led to him being signed by the Warner Brothers and the rest is history.
Putting out first EP
Michael Ray formed a strong connection with John Rich who provided him with guidance and support. Michael made business relationships and key friendships with some of the biggest names in Nashville. The artist also co-wrote a song for Big & Rich titled, Run Away With You in 2015 which picked the fourteenth spot on the US Country Airplay chart. Michael then came out with his extended play, ‘Kiss You in the Morning’ the same year which featured six tracks. The EP picked up the fifteenth position on the US Top Heatseekers Albums chart.
Debut album and success
Michael Ray put out his much awaited debut self-titled studio album right after the release of ‘Kiss You in the Morning.’ The record was a hit as it peaked at the fourth spot on the US Top Country Albums chart and featured twelve tracks. The album produced two singles, Kiss You in the Morning and Real Man Love Jesus, both of which tasted commercial success.
Michael Ray has been on a roll of since then. He delivered debut performances at the legendary Grand Oly Opry and on ‘Good Morning America’ shortly afterwards. He is now on the road and will be making his presence felt near you. If you want to catch him live in concert then get your Michael Ray tickets and listen to the best of country music in person.