Tamyra Gray began singing at an early age. She competed in
several pageants and was named Miss Atlanta in 1998. Gray
attended Georgia State University, majoring in business law and
entertainment management. Prior to American Idol, she worked a
variety of jobs including day care worker, party motivator,
telemarketer, waitress, and running her own cleaning service
while pursuing an opening into the entertainment industry.
That opening came in 2002 when Tamyra Gray became one of the ten finalists on the first season of American Idol, eventually finishing fourth. Her performance of the Burt Bacharach classic "A House is Not a Home" was described by Judge Simon Cowell as "one of the best performances on television" that he had ever seen.
After American Idol's debut season, Tamyra Gray continued to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. She landed the recurring role of Aisha Clemens on Boston Public, appearing in seven episodes in 2003, during which she also showcased her singing abilities. She had guest roles on episodes of Half and Half , Tru Calling, What I Like About You and All Of Us. She also duetted on a track on the winner of Season 1 of American Idol, Kelly Clarkson's debut album Thankful, entitled "You Thought Wrong", however it was never released as a single. In Nov. 2004 Tamyra was cast for a limited engagement of twelve weeks in the role of Priya in Broadway's struggling Bombay Dreams. However, the show closed early due to continued poor grosses.
During the third season of American Idol, she returned to the show on several occasions to sing "Raindrops Will Fall" and "Star", songs she co-wrote for her debut album, and to sing the National Anthem to open the final results show of the season. Gray also co-wrote the American Idol season three single "I Believe", which was performed by Idol finalists Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo. Barrino released "I Believe" as her American Idol single.
After being dropped by J Records in 2003, Tamyra Gray's first solo album, The Dreamer, was eventually released on May 25, 2004 by newly formed 19 Records, a division of Simon Fuller's 19 Management. After disappointing sales of only 122,000, Gray was also dropped by 19 Records and 19 Management.
In 2005 Tamyra made her big screen supporting role debut in the independent film The Gospel. Tamyra has one song, "Now Behold The Lamb", featured on the movie's soundtrack . Also in 2005, Tamyra appeared in a short film for H&M's new line of denim jeans, and performed the Dreamgirls show stopper And I'm Telling You (I'm Not Going).
In 2006 Tamyra Gray appeared on an episode of The Tyra Banks Show with other previous American Idol finalists. Tamyra also appeared on the March 17th episode of Las Vegas (TV series) on NBC where she played a clutsy waitress . Tamyra ended the show performing the classic song Respect.
The Dreamer (2004)
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