Macy Gray Says Drug Use Contributed To Career Decline

By McCarton Ackerman 10/23/14

Gray admitted that fame made her a "massive asshole" and contributed to her descent into drug abuse.

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Macy Gray rose to fame in 2000 with her triple-platinum debut album and No. 1 single “I Try,” but her career has dwindled since then to an appearance on Oprah: Where Are They Now? But in the latest episode of the OWN series, Gray claims that her drug use was partially responsible for her career downfall.

The Ohio native said that seemingly instant fame and wealth became too much to handle and she behaved like “a massive asshole. I probably made a lot of people upset.” To help cope with the stress, she eventually turned to drugs, and eventually became hooked on hash and ecstasy.

"My drug use started as a result of being on tour," she told Winfrey. "My crew was from England. All they did was smoke hash all day, and they knew where to get the good ecstasy. So, you start playing with stuff, and then, suddenly, it's like a crutch."

Gray also said that her seemingly eccentric behavior, which included wearing sunglasses during interviews and not answering questions, was due to her drug use causing her to fall asleep. But the singer said her rock bottom moment came in the form of vanity and she quit using drugs cold turkey.

"I looked in the mirror one day, and I had bags [under my eyes] and my skin was doing weird stuff," she recalls. "That really scared me, so, I swear to God, I quit. I quit that day, just because of my looks."

The singer is currently plugging her new album released earlier this month, The Way. Although she isn’t playing the theaters and arenas she used to at the height of her success, Gray said she doesn’t regret going down the path she did.

"I just kind of took [my success] for granted and assumed that it would be like that for the rest of my life. I pissed a lot of people off and I think I stopped working as hard as I used to," she said. “Things had to happen the way they had to for me to be what I can be now. For me to get off drugs, for me to just stop being an idiot...I had to go through all of that stuff."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.