Ray's solo career began in earnest in 1997 on S2. The first single release 'Are you Jimmy Ray?' - a retro-inspired pop hybrid of 1950's rockabilly & 1990's hip-hop, accompanied by a critically acclaimed music video performed well in the UK, US and the rest of the world. The track peaked at #13 in the UK chart in October '97 and the following year smashed into the US billboard Hot 100 chart at #26 going on to peak at #13 in the Hot 100 and into the top 10 sales chart. Ray still holds a long-standing record for the highest starting chart position for a UK act's debut single – a feat unmatched even by superboyband 'One Direction' who entered the chart at #28.
The success of the single in the US – selling over 500,000 copies earning Jimmy a 'Recording Industry Association of America Certified Gold sales Award' and a 'American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers Award' - led to live performances on some of US TV's biggest shows – The Tonight Show with host Jay Leno, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Ricki Lake Show, The View and countless other TV & radio slots across the length & breadth of the US. Back in the UK Jimmy appeared on the long-running music show 'Top of the Pops', The National Lottery show as well as many other appearances and performances on all the Major TV & radio channels.
Live appearances at the time included a 6-week US Auditorium tour with 'The Backstreet Boys' (including a show at NYC's famous Radio City Music Hall), a MTV 'spring break' gig in Jamaica and numerous promotional & Radio shows across the US & UK.
Follow-up singles did well in the UK & US earning Jimmy a second UK hit in 1998 with 'Goin' to Vegas.'
Ray's long-awaited self-penned, recorded and produced 'comeback' album 'Live To Fight Another Day', was released in October 2017.