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Collin Raye Biography

Home > Music > R > Raye, Collin > Biography

Birth Name: Floyd Collin Wray
Born: 1959/08/22
Birth Place: De Queen, Arkansas, USA
Years Active: 1990-present
Genres: Country

Collin Raye (born Floyd Elliott Wray, August 22, 1960) is an American country music singer from De Queen, Arkansas. In the 1980s, Raye and his brother began a country-rock band called the Wray Brothers Band, in which Collin assumed the stage name Bubba Wray. The Wray Brothers Band performed primarily in the state of Texas, and later in Reno, Nevada, eventually releasing singles on independent labels. By 1986, the band, which had shortened its name to The Wrays, signed to Mercury Records, releasing four singles. After the singles performed poorly on the charts, The Wrays disbanded.

After altering the spelling of his last name to Raye, he was signed to a record deal with Epic Records in 1990. His debut single, “All I Can Be (Is a Sweet Memory),” entered the charts in 1991, reaching a peak of #29 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Raye's first album, also titled “All I Can Be, “was released soon afterward. The follow-up single, a ballad co-written by Skip Ewing and titled “Love, Me,” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in early 1992, holding the peak position for three weeks. “All I Can Be” was then certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album's final single was "Every Second," which peaked at #2 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

Raye's second album, titled “In This Life,” was released in 1992. The album's title track, which served as its lead-off single, not only went to the top of the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, but also became a hit on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The album produced three additional Top 10 Hot Country hits, and was also certified platinum.

1993 saw the release of Raye's third album. Titled “Extremes,” it received critical acclaim for its more socially aware content, most evidently in the second single, “Little Rock,” a story of a recovering alcoholic. “Extremes” produced five straight Top 10 hits on the Hot Country chart, including the #1 single “My Kind of Girl” in 1994. It also became Raye's third consecutive platinum album.

“I Think About You” was the title of Raye's fourth album. Released in 1995, it produced six singles overall and became Raye's fourth consecutive platinum-certified album. The album's title track was a Top 5 hit on the Hot Country chart. In 1996, Raye also released a Christmas album titled “Christmas: The Gift.”

“The Walls Came Down” was the title of Raye's fifth studio album. Released in 1998, it produced his fourth Billboard #1 single in “I Can Still Feel You.” “Someone You Used to Know” and the Radney Foster-penned “Anyone Else” were both Top 5 hits as well. “Start Over Georgia,” the fourth single (co-written by Raye's brother), peaked at #39. “Counting Sheep,” a special album composed of lullabies for Raye's children, was released in 2000.

2001 saw the release of “Tracks,” Raye's sixth album. Its first release, the primarily spoken-word “Couldn't Last a Moment,” was a Top 5 hit on the Hot Country chart. “Tired of Loving This Way,” which followed, was a duet with singer and actress Bobbie Eakes. Although it was Raye's first single to miss the Top 40 entirely, it provided Eakes with her first appearance on the country music charts.

“Can't Back Down,” Raye's final album for Epic, was released in 2001. Neither of the album's two singles entered Top 40 on the country music charts. Because of a conflict with his label, Raye asked out of his contract that year.

In 2005, Raye signed to the independent Aspirion label, releasing his “Twenty Years and Change” album. Two singles were released from the album, although neither single charted. Another studio album, “Fearless,” was released in 2006 on Country Roads Records, although it did not produce any singles.

In 2007, an album/DVD combination titled “The Power in You” was released, followed by an EP titled “Selected Hits.” Raye's next album, “Never Going Back,” was released in 2009 on the Saguaro Road label. Its first single was “Mid-Life Chrysler.” It also included the track “She's With Me,” which was a tribute to Raye's granddaughter, Haley, who died from a severe but undiagnosed brain disorder. 2011 saw the release of Raye’s album, “His Love Remains.”