Conan Gray

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Conan Gray
Gray performing at U Street Music Hall in 2019
Gray performing at U Street Music Hall in 2019
Background information
Birth nameConan Lee Gray[1][2]
Born (1998-12-05) December 5, 1998 (age 21)
Lemon Grove, California[3]
OriginGeorgetown, Texas
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • internet personality
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2013–present
Labels
Websiteconangray.com
YouTube information
Channel
Genre
Subscribers2.75 million
Total views285.9 million
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2017[4]
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2018[4]

Updated: September 12, 2020

Conan Lee Gray (born December 5, 1998)[3] is an American singer-songwriter and social media personality. Conan Gray started out uploading vlogs and covers to YouTube as a teenager from Georgetown, Texas. After signing a record deal with Republic Records in 2018, he released his debut EP Sunset Season which gained over 300 million streams online. His debut studio album, Kid Krow, was released in March 2020 and reached number 5 on the Billboard 200, making him the biggest US new artist debut of 2020. His breakthrough single "Maniac" has accumulated over 200 million streams on Spotify alone and has been certified Platinum in Australia and Canada and Gold in the US .

Early life

Gray was born on December 5, 1998, in Lemon Grove, California,[dubious ] to an Irish father and a Japanese mother. As an infant, his family moved to Hiroshima, Japan, due to his grandfather requiring medical care. After living there for two years, the family moved back to California. Gray used to speak Japanese fluently, but has since lost his proficiency.[5]

Gray's parents divorced when he was three years old. In a "Draw My Life" video, he details his experiences with divorce as a young child.[6] As his father was in the military, Gray moved twelve times throughout his childhood, moving three times during sixth grade alone. Gray was frequently bullied throughout grade school. At one point, he was one of only five half Asian children at his school.

Gray eventually settled in Georgetown, Texas, as a preteen where he remained for the rest of his teenage years. Gray's life in central Texas inspired much of his art and music. He was accepted to UCLA, and moved to an apartment in Los Angeles, California in September 2017.

Career

2015–2017: Career beginnings on YouTube

He created his official channel in 2013,[7] and began creating videos at age nine.[8] Gray's vlog content centers heavily on his life in small-town Texas. He is often hailed for his appreciation of Americana-related nostalgia.[9] Gray has recorded music, showed his art, and created other videos for his vlog with more than 25 million views.[10][8]

2018–2019: Sunset Season

Conan Gray self-released his debut single "Idle Town", in March 2017. The song gained over 14 million streams on Spotify and 12 million views on YouTube.[11][9] In October 2018, Gray released the single "Generation Why" on Republic Records,[11] which was described as "a rallying call to generation Z."[12] In November 2018, Gray released the five-track EP Sunset Season which includes the songs "Idle Town", "Generation Why", "Crush Culture", "Greek God", and "Lookalike". The EP peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and at No. 116 on the Billboard 200.[13][14] Gray embarked on a North American tour in support of the EP with Girl in Red.[15]

Gray made his late-night television debut when he performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers on the eve of February 2019[16][17] before performing several shows as an opening act for Panic! at the Disco during their Pray for the Wicked Tour.[18] He played concert festivals such as The Great Escape in addition to touring nationally.[19]

In February 2019, Gray re-released the single "The Other Side",[20] after originally publishing it on YouTube in 2016 on the eve of the first day of his senior year at high school.[21][20] Between March and October 2019, Gray released a series of singles off of his debut album, Kid Krow, namely "Checkmate", "Comfort Crowd", and "Maniac",[22] and an independent single, “The King”. In October 2019, Gray embarked on his second headlining tour of North America with support from acclaimed New Zealand musician Benee as well as American recording artist UMI.[23] As of October 2019, Gray's catalog had gained over 250 million streams across all platforms collectively.[24] Gray was awarded the 2019 Shorty Award for Best YouTube Musician,[25] and was nominated for Breakthrough Artist at the 2019 Streamy Awards.[26]

2020–present: Kid Krow

Throughout the second week of 2020, Gray teased fans online by tweeting daily hints about the title of his debut album.[27] On January 9, 2020, he revealed the title of his debut album, Kid Krow, and wrote, "I say more on this album than I've ever said in my life, and I can't wait to tell you all of my secrets. Love y'all."[28] Gray released "The Story" on the same day of the album's announcement,[29] as well as "Wish You Were Sober" as a surprise release two days before the album's release.[30] During early 2020, Gray's single "Maniac" became successful on international mainstream pop radio,[31][32][33][34][35] specifically in Australia,[36][37] where it was certified platinum.[38] The song was also certified Platinum in Canada and Gold in the US, making it his first certified song in all three countries.[39][40][41] It became his first Billboard-charting single when it reached number 25 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart,[42] as well as the top 100 charts of Australia, Ireland and South Korea.

Gray released his debut full-length studio album Kid Krow on March 20, 2020 which debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 as well as number 1 on the US Pop Albums chart and number 2 on the Top Album Sales chart with over 37 thousand pure sales.[43][44][45] In the US, it was the biggest new artist debut of 2020 as of March and was the top pop solo debut album in over two years since Camila Cabello's 2018 self-titled album.[46] The album was praised by publications such as Paper, Billboard, NPR, Teen Vogue and Paste.

Gray was scheduled to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on March 16,[47] as well as Coachella in mid April 2020,[48] before both performances were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid 2020, both Forbes and Billboard listed Gray as a frontrunner in their predictions for Best New Artist nominees at the 2021 Grammy Awards.[49][50] Following the commercial success of Kid Krow, Apple Music named Gray as an Up Next artist and released an exclusive mini-documentary about him in April 2020.[51] His Kid Krow World Tour with support from Bülow has been postponed until further notice.[52]

In August 2020, the song "Heather" became popular on the social media platform TikTok, consequently becoming Kid Krow's sixth and final single.[53] It made Gray his first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 in his career, and further charted in the top 40 of countries such as the United Kingdom,[54] Australia,[55] New Zealand,[56] and Ireland.[57] It became his most commercially successful single since "Maniac", which achieved international mainstream hit radio success earlier that year.

Artistry

Influences

Gray has stated that Taylor Swift raised him "both as a writer and a human"

Gray has cited Taylor Swift as his biggest inspiration, stating that he "was raised by [her]" and that he is "the largest Swiftie".[58] He told People, "I love her so much. I love her music. I love what she does. I love her lyricism. I love how she's handled her career. She's just such a fucking boss. I grew up listening to her music since I was nine years old. I feel like she shaped me so much as a person."[59] Swift praised Gray's debut album Kid Krow and the track "Wish You Were Sober" on her personal Instagram story, to which Gray responded, "Thank you for being my lifelong songwriting inspiration and icon. I honestly feel like you raised me both as a writer and a human and I cannot express in words how much the means to me. Thank you for everything. Swifty for life".[60] In an interview with Zane Lowe, for Apple Music, Gray stated that Swift is his "number one above all", and continued that "she's just my songwriting icon, and I'll never understand how she does what she does. She's just amazing". Gray also revealed that Swift messaged him and complimented Kid Krow.[61]

Gray has named Lorde as one of his other primary influences,[62][63][64] and has explained that his EP Sunset Season was majorly inspired by the small-town nostalgia of her debut album Pure Heroine.[9] He has also cited The Chicks and Adele as some of his musical influences,[65] as well as expressing a mutual[66] admiration for V of BTS,[67] and Billie Eilish.[68] Talking about Eilish's rapid rise to fame in 2019, Gray told ET: "Billie and I have been friends since, like, literally forever, since she was, like, 15. I was like, 17. We were really young. Watching her have to figure out all these little things along the way has been really helpful for me."[69] Gray has cited Baby by Justin Bieber as a major song that inspired his childhood.[70]

Gray has been named as a "Gen Z vlogging sensation and venue-packing pop powerhouse" by Paper,[9] "the pop prince of sad internet teens" by Teen Vogue,[71] and "Gen Z's ascendant king of sad boy pop" by i-D.[10]

Discography

Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions
US
[14]
AUS
[55]
BEL
(FL)

[72]
CAN
[73]
IRE
[57]
NLD
[74]
NOR
[75]
NZ
[56]
SPA
[76]
UK
[77]
Kid Krow 5 26 49 5 20 43 32
[78]
32 39 30

Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart positions
US
[14]
US
Heat.

[79]
UK
Down.

[80]
Sunset Season
  • Released: November 16, 2018
  • Label: Republic, UMG
  • Formats: CD, LP, DL, streaming
116 2 57

Singles

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US
[81]
AUS
[55]
BEL
(FL)
Tip

[72]
CAN
[82]
IRE
[57]
NOR
[75]
NZ
[56]
SGP
[83]
SWE
[84]
UK
[77]
"Idle Town" 2017 Sunset Season
"Grow" Non-album single
"Generation Why" 2018 Sunset Season
"Crush Culture"
"The Other Side" 2019 Non-album singles
"The King"
"Checkmate" Kid Krow
"Comfort Crowd"
"Maniac" [A] 24 41 83 [B]
"The Story" 2020 43 [C]
"Wish You Were Sober" [D]
"Heather" 46 13
[88]
2 26 12
[89]
21
[90]
13
[91]
2 41 17
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other charted songs

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NZ
Hot

[86]
"Affluenza" 2020 36 Kid Krow

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2019 Shorty Awards Best YouTube Musician Himself Won [25]
2019 Streamy Awards Breakthrough Artist Nominated [26]
2020 BreakTudo Awards Internaional New Artist Pending [92]
2020 MTV Europe Music Awards Best Push Act Pending [93]
2020 MTV Video Music Awards Push Artist of the Year Longlisted [94]

Tours

Headlining tours

Supporting tours

Notes

  1. ^ "Maniac" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 25 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[85]
  2. ^ "Maniac" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 29 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[86]
  3. ^ "The Story" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 34 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[86]
  4. ^ "Wish You Were Sober" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 14 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[87]

References

  1. ^ Gray, Conan Lee. "ASCAP Ace Search". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  2. ^ Conan Gray [@conangray] (October 26, 2018). "my middle name is "lee" so all i gotta do is name my child "fam"" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b Dean Stone, Russell (August 2, 2019). "Conan Gray". Notion. Retrieved December 28, 2019. The story starts back in Lemon Grove, San Diego, where Conan Gray was born on 5th December 1998.
  4. ^ a b "Total Subscribers & Video Views Gained For ConanXCanon (Annually)". Retrieved April 8, 2020 – via YouTube. (subscription required)
  5. ^ Gray, Conan (March 18, 2013), "50 Facts About Me !!!", YouTube, retrieved July 6, 2019
  6. ^ Conan Gray (June 12, 2016), Draw My Life ( For 100,000 ), retrieved July 6, 2019
  7. ^ "Conan Gray" – via YouTube.
  8. ^ a b Ohlheiser, Abby (June 25, 2018). "YouTube is new way to get famous; at VidCon, tweens want to be next in line". Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d Wetmore, Brendan (April 9, 2019). "Conan Gray Hits a Small Town Crescendo". PAPER. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Greenwood, Douglas (April 24, 2019). "conan gray is gen z's ascendant king of sad boy pop". i-D. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Wess, Mike (October 8, 2018). "One To Watch: Conan Gray Makes His Major Label Debut With "Generation Why"". idolator. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  12. ^ Andrew Powell, W. (November 15, 2018). "Watch: Conan Gray's 'Generation Why'". The Gate. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  13. ^ "Heatseekers Albums Charts - December 1, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
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  40. ^ Cite error: The named reference :8 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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  50. ^ Grein, Paul (May 26, 2020). "Grammy Watch: Best New Artist Likely Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
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  52. ^ "Tour". Conan Gray Official Website. Archived from the original on May 5, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
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  67. ^ Conan Gray [@conangray] (October 4, 2019). "I'M STUNNED @BTS_twt I LOVE Y'ALL can i be your backup singer" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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External links