There's so much beauty in the world now that my old bud Macy Gray, 42, is about to release her fifth studio CD, The Sellout, next Tuesday, June 22. The disc is classic Macy, and I got the chance to speak to the mom of three about it — along with her regrets about doing Dancing With the Stars and her secret crush — in the most recent issue of Us. Want to hear my raspy-voiced pal unedited? Read on, brothas and sistahs!
UsMagazine.com: So you funded and recorded this album all on your own?
Macy Gray: Yes. I got to work with Justin Timberlake on my last album. He actually told me that's how he wrote his own albums. He actually goes off and on his own and then he gives them to the label when he's finished. I didn't know what he was talking about so I did it myself. It is the best way to make a record.
Us: Why call it The Sellout?
MG: It was just about how when I first started. After my last album, I had to figure out what I was going to do because it didn't go very well. I thought I should maybe make a really pop commercial record and get really skinny and date somebody really cool. I ended up just doing my own thing and I realized that you can only be yourself and it's not easy to be like everyone else. So The Sellout is kind of the ironic result of my first big idea. I ended up right back where I started, I ended up doing what I always do and then I made a record that I really loved and so it turned out good.
Us: So wait, was that the time you decided to do Dancing With the Stars?
MG: [Laughs] No, well, that was my manager's idea. But, I don't know why I did that show. I have no idea, I really don't. I've never been so nervous about anything more in my entire life, like my stomach was turning. I've never been that afraid of the stage or to go on television, that much in my entire life. I learned a lot and it was one of those things where I felt like I went back to work because we really had this hardcore schedule. You have to be there everyday at 7 and they don't really mess around. They don't like the loose thing, like showing up an hour late, they're not cool with that at all. I was on a schedule again and it was this really strict organizing vibe. It was refreshing on a lot of levels and I definitely learned a lot but I would definitely never do it again.
Us: So, did you ever end up losing a lot of weight when you tried dieting?
MG: I never made it, I ate like a pig. When I'm stressed about something, that's when I go and start eating. I gained about 20 pounds when I decided to do that!
Us: Do you excercise now?
MG: Yeah, I run actually. There's this hill in my neighborhood that I challenge myself to see if I can make it up this really big ass hill everyday. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't [Laughs]. That's my exercise.
Us: Did you end up dating somebody famous or, as you said it, "really cool"?
MG: No, none of it worked out because I got so fat [laughs]. I was too insecure to date. I was fat and stayed home! Worst idea I ever had!
Us: How do you balance being a single mom to your kids — Aanisha, 15, Mel, 14 and Happy, 12?
MG: It's just one of those things where you wake up everyday and you know what you have to do and you go do it. I mean it's not really anything you think about. You gotta go to his basketball game and then you gotta go pick up someone and then you gotta sing a song. So, it's like everything else. You have 20 things to do and it helps to get 10 of them done. It's just like that, I don't really think about how I do it. How I do it I don’t know. It's just life you get up and do it.
Us: How do you deal with people impersonating your voice all the time?
MG: I'm so used to it. It's not even television, it's just my everyday life. Everyone I know imitates me. I'm at the point now where I really appreciate good imitations — some of them are really bad. I really respect the people who do them well.
Us: So, being single, got your eye on anyone?
MG: I think Steve Jobs is really sexy. Now that I'm older I'm really turned on by geniuses and big brains [Laughs].
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By Ian Drew for UsMagazine.com. To read more of Ian's blog, click here and don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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