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Tamyra Gray Biography

Last updated: 05/26/2004 09:42:44 PM

When Tamyra Gray sang "And you, and you, and you, you're gonna love me," little did we realize how quickly or much we were going to love her. This captivating performer with the killer voice wowed audiences nationwide with her emotionally-charged performance of "A House Is Not A Home" on the American Idol Top 10 tour.

As a child she "sang to everything that came on the radio" and entered her first talent show in the 7th grade at Montgomery Village Intermediate School. "It's always been a dream of mine," stresses Tamyra, "it's always been my passion [to be in the music industry]". Her first music mentor at Watkins Mill Elementary School was her chorus teacher Mrs. Garcia. "She taught me how to breathe, and taught me the foundations. That's the only structured training that I've ever had," adds Tamyra.

The 3rd youngest, of 12 brothers and sisters, Tamyra was born in Takoma Park, MD grew up in Gaithersburg, MD until her family moved to Georgia when she was 13. As teenagers growing up in Atlanta, Tamyra and sister Kim formed a duo called the Silhouettes after their parents encouraged them to explore the music industry.

At Georgia State University, she majored in business, law and sound recording technology. "I want to know everything there is to know about the music industry," explains Tamyra, "the behind-the-scenes action that most artists don't have time to get involved in, as well as learning the production side of things."

"Everything I've ever done was to prepare me for this moment," says Tamyra. She did everything and anything that would bring her closer to realizing her dream: performed in two musicals, danced for a hip-hop company, did commercials when they came her way, and also sang at corporate functions for Coca-Cola. When she wasn't trying to get her foot in the music industry door, she was teaching pre-kindergarten kids at the Primrose School. "I love children," says Tamyra excitedly, "I enjoy going back to my kids, being with them, working with them. We would sing and dance and do everything that I was doing when I wasn't in school."

This summer, millions of people welcomed the idols into their homes - watching, voting, cheering - and experiencing the highs and lows with their favorites on the American Idol show. In discussing the show, Tamyra says, "My mindset was that winning or losing was irrelevant." When a performer is on stage, you have to take risks. "In my view," she continues "I wanted to get as much as possible from the competition before being eliminated. It was a matter of learning how to trust myself." She adds, "I was determined to challenge and compete against myself. Every week, I set out to do better than I did the previous week. I made sure that I gave everything that I possibly could, each and every week."

After the tour, Tamyra looks forward to shooting four episodes as a Winslow High School student on Fox's "Boston Public", with her guest appearance beginning with the February sweeps. Her role has not been written yet. "I have no clue about my role, but I'm hoping that my character is far away from myself," she says with a giggle.

Tamyra points out, that her overriding goal "is to put out an album with good music and songs". "We'll be doing stuff with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and I'll be writing some material. I'm looking forward to that process. I just want my music to appeal to everyone, in the hope that people will get something out of my music."

Tamyra wants to savor and take each day one step at a time. "It's been a long road getting here," she continues, "And I'm so grateful to have finally begun my journey". Her heartfelt words echo her emotions. "There could never be enough words that could adequately describe the joy in my heart. I feel very blessed and fortunate to be where I am right now. Thank you for giving me the opportunity and for helping to make my dreams come true."