Robert Cray

Who is Robert Cray?

Considered the most successful blues artist of his generation, Robert Cray was both critically and commercially triumphant. His songs were hitting the top of rock and pop charts while other blues artists were selling in the range of tens of thousands.

The reason behind Robert Cray’s popularity in the ’80s and the ’90s blues scene is his primary focus on the lyrics rather than musical heroics. Nonetheless, Cray was a great musician with incredible guitar skills.

Quick facts

Full nameRobert William Cray
Known asRobert Cray
BirthdayAugust 1, 1953
Age69 years old
Sun signLeo
Place of birthColumbus, Georgia
EducationDenbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia

The early life of Robert Cray

On August 1, 1953, Robert Cray was born in Columbus, Georgia, in a military family. His father was stationed at Fort Benning as a quartermaster in the Army.

During Robert’s younger days, the Cray family often moved from place to place.

However, Robert did not let this get in the way of his education and completed his high school at two different schools, Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia, and Lakes High School in Lakewood, Washington.

Furthermore, Robert’s musical beginnings were also from his high school. He started a blues band while at Denbigh High School named ‘The One-Way Street.’

Personal life

Nothing much is known about the personal life of Robert Cray except for the fact that he married Susan Turner-Cray in 1990. So it’s been more than twenty years of their marriage. However, there are no reports of them having any children.

career

By the age of 20, Robert had already met his idols like Freddie King, Albert Collins, and Muddy Waters in concerts. Their performances inspired him to continue his music so, he decided to create another band in college and started performing on the West Coast.

Likewise, Robert Cray performed with other blues bands as an uncredited musician. Nevertheless, in 1980, Cray released his first album with Tomato Records named ‘Who’s been talkin’.’

However, the breakthrough in Robert Cray’s career came with his fourth album, ‘Strong Persuader,’ in 1986, for which he received a Grammy Award.

Additionally, ‘Strong Persuader’ was not the only album of Cray’s to persuade the audience. He went on to win a total of five Grammy Awards throughout his career.

More about his career and achievements are mentioned further in this article.

Robert Cray’s current life

Robert Cray continues to record and tour to this day. He has appeared in several music festivals with legendary artists such as Eric Clapton.

Furthermore, Robert was inducted into Hollywood’s RockWalk in 2005. Similarly, in 2011, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Recently, in 2017, Cray also received the Americana Music Lifetime Achievement Award.

Read more about other famous musicians here.

net worth

Thanks to Cray’s outstanding musical career and his achievements, his net worth is estimated to be around USD 5 million.

Robert Cray albums

Studio albums:

TitleDetails
Who’s Been Talkin’Released: March 1980
Label: Tomato
Format: CD, LP
Bad InfluenceReleased: August 1983
Label: HighTone
Format: CD, LP
False AccusationsReleased: October 1985Label: HighTone
Format: CD, LP
Strong PersuaderReleased: November 17, 1986
Label: Mercury
Format: CD, LP
Don’t Be Afraid of the DarkReleased: August 8, 1988
Label: Mercury
Format: CD, LP
Too Many CooksReleased: March 1989
Label: Tomato
Format: CD, LP
Midnight StrollReleased: September 18, 1990
Label: Mercury
Format: CD, LP
I Was WarnedReleased: August 31, 1992
Label: Mercury
Format: CD, LP
Shame + A SinReleased: October 5, 1993
Label: Mercury
Format: CD, LP
Some Rainy MorningReleased: May 9, 1995
Label: Mercury
Format: CD, LP
Sweet Potato PieReleased: May 5, 1997
Label: Mercury
Format: CD, LP
Take Your Shoes OffReleased: April 27, 1999
Label: Rykodisc
Format: CD, LP
Shoulda Been HomeReleased: May 15, 2001
Label: Rykodisc
Format: CD, LP
Time Will TellReleased: July 1, 2003
Label: Sanctuary
Format: CD, LP
TwentyReleased: May 24, 2005
Label: Sanctuary
Format: CD, LP
This TimeReleased: August 11, 2009
Label: Vanguard
Format: CD, LP
Nothin But LoveReleased: August 21, 2012
Label: Provogue
Format: CD, LP
In My SoulReleased: March 28, 2014
Label: Provogue
Format: CD, LP
Robert Cray & Hi RhythmReleased: April 28, 2017
Label: Warner
Format: CD, LP
That’s What I HeardReleased: February 28, 2020
Label: Nozzle
Format: CD, LP

Collaborative albums:

TitleDetails
Showdown!
(with Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland)
Released: 1985
Label: Alligator
Format: CD, LP
3× Gold
(with INXS and Wet Wet Wet)
Released: June 5, 1988
Label: Gold Collections
Format: CD, LP
In Concert
(with Albert Collins)
Released: 1999
Label: Indigo
Format: CD, LP

Extended plays:

TitleEP details
The Midnight StrollReleased: June 1, 1990
Label: Polygram
Formats: CD, LP, MC

Singles:

YearTitleUS RockUS Hot 100UK Singles
1986“Smoking Gun”222
1987“I Guessed I Showed Her”28
1987“Right Next Door (Because of Me)”278050
1987“Nothin’ But A Woman”
1988“Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”474
1988“Night Patrol”
1989“Acting This Way”24
1990“Consequences”32
1990“The Forecast (Calls for Pain)”11
1992“Just a Loser”33
1993“1040 Blues”
1996“Baby Lee”
(John Lee Hooker with Robert Cray)
65
2014“You Move Me”

Robert Cray awards:

Grammy Awards

StatusCategory
Nominee
Grammy (2018)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For the album ” Robert Cray &Hi Rhythm”
Nominee
Grammy (2010)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For “This Time”
Nominee
Grammy (2007)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For “Live From Across The Pond”
Nominee
Grammy (2006)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For “Twenty”
Winner
Grammy (2000)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For “Take Your Shoes Off”
Nominee
Grammy (1998)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For “Sweet Potato Pie”
Winner
Grammy (1997)
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
For “SRV Shuffle”
Nominee
Grammy (1996)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For “Some Rainy Morning”
Nominee
Grammy (1995)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For “Shame + A Sin”
Nominee
Grammy (1993)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
For “I Was Warned”
Nominee
Grammy (1991)
Best Contemporary Blues Recording
Shared with: The Robert Cray Band
For “Midnight Stroll”
Winner
Grammy (1989)
Best Contemporary Blues Recording
Shared with: The Robert Cray Band (artist)
For “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”.
Nominee
Grammy (1989)
Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
For “Acting This Way”
Winner
Grammy (1988)
Best Contemporary Blues Recording
For “Strong Persuader”.
Winner
Grammy (1987)
Best Traditional Blues Recording
For “Showdown!”

MTV Video Music Awards (VMA)

StatusCategory
Nominee
VMA (1987)
Best New Artist in a Video
For Robert Cray: Smoking Gun (1986)

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