Collin Raye was born as Floyd Collin Wray in DeQueen, Arkansas where he first entered into the music business with his brothers as the Wray Bothers Band. The group had four minor hits in the 80s before Collin took off on his own as Collin Raye. He did what many aspiring country musicians do and moved to Nashville, Tennessee. As his popularity grew, however, he moved to Greenville, Texas to be closer to his children. This is a gutsy move for an up and coming performer, but Raye's career survived the move and many fans respected his commitment to his family.
Raye released two albums to cheering crowds. Both All I Can Be and This Life sold more than one million copies and featured chart-topping singles. He became the super star of country we all know and love when his third album, Extremes, hit the shelves. Single 'Little Rock' was a song taking on the hard subject of alcoholism; the single made it to number four on the charts. The multi-dimensional country album featured Raye's smooth tenor that has been compared with the voice of Vince Gill. His powerful voice as well as lyrical skills established him as a country legend. Raye was nominated for the Country Music Association's Male Vocalist of the Year in 1996. His video for the hit single 'I Think of You' was also recognized with the Academy of Country Music's Video of the Year award.
By the summer of 1997 a greatest hits album was ready for release. The Best of Collin Raye: Direct Hits was a 14-track compilation, including some new material, that became a huge success. Raye's version of 'A Whole New World' from Disney's Aladdin was featured on The Best of Country Sing The Best of Disney in the same year. Raye is committed to pleasing both kids and adult with his music as well as being committed to making the world a better place. He has donated his time and talents to many charities including the Dallas Cowboys' Special Olympics Benefit, Easter Seals, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Emily Harrison Foundation for head injuries.
Raye brings his advocacy into his music as well with socially conscious country-rock songs that inspire a diverse audience. His single about alcohol abuse, 'Little Rock', was one of the first of the numerous big message songs. Other top five hits that included a moral are 'One Boy, One Girl' about domestic violence, and 'Not That Different', an anti-racist track. After taking a few years away from active recording to promote advocacy during his tours and benefit appearances he came back to the studio in 1998 and released The Walls Came Down. Three singles from the album made the top five on the Billboard country charts: 'Someone You Used to Know', 'Anyone Else', and 'I Can Still Feel You'. Still putting a message in his music, Raye included a track about child abuse'”'The Eleventh Commandment'.
Throughout his career Raye has toured to sold-out crowds at venues across the country. Country lovers everywhere flock to ticket counters, especially after the release of his last two wildly successful albums. The 2000 release Tracks featured the top five hit 'Couldn't Last a Moment'. Fans couldn't wait a moment for Raye's next album, released in 2001. Can't Back Down continued Raye's career as one of the most successful country artists in the United States.
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