Lady Wray represented another chapter in the winding career of R&B vocalist and songwriter Nicole Wray.
The Virginia-raised singer made her professional debut through a featured spot on "Gettaway," off Missy Elliott's platinum breakthrough Supa Dupa Fly (1997). It led to a solo deal that peaked with the Elliott-written, Timbaland-produced "Make It Hot" (1998), a number two Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop hit. As she continued to appear on tracks by other artists, including Elliott's "All N My Grill," Kelis' "Wouldn't You Agree," and Cam'ron's "Family Ties," Wray recorded two solo albums that were shelved, including one for Roc-A-Fella. After she took part in the one-off Blackroc project beside the likes of Mos Def, RZA, and the Black Keys, she released the independent album Boss B*tch (2010) and a batch of digital singles. A little later, Wray united with Terri Walker as Lady, a duo who released a self-titled album (2013) inspired by late-'60s and early-'70s soul. Despite a warm reception, Walker split, but Wray -- whose voice had become richer and a little grittier since her early years, ideal for vintage-sounding instrumental backdrops -- continued to perform the material. Under the name Lady Wray, she went on to record another throwback-oriented full-length, Queen Alone (2016), with some of the same musicians who worked on Lady, including Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck. The album was released on Michels' Big Crown label. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi