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Collin Raye was born August 22, 1959, in DeQueen, Arkansas, with the name Floyd Collin Wray. Both of his parents were musical, and his mother, Lois Wray, was a regionally popular performer in East Texas, who opened shows for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins in the 1950s. At 7, Raye was onstage with her performing. At 13, he and his older brother, Scott, formed The Wray Brothers and performed in the roadhouses of the Lone Star State. They soon became headliners in Portland, Oregon, and in the casinos of Reno, Nevada.
Collin Raye first attracted Nashville's attention as the lead vocalist on a string of independent singles in the 1980s. Billed as The Wrays, the act released a couple of singles on Mercury Records in the mid-80s before breaking up. Epic Records signed Collin Raye as a solo act in 1990. A year later, the nostalgic ballad "Love, Me" hit No. 1, and by 2000, he charted 21 Top 10 hits for Epic. His first four studio albums, as well as his Greatest Hits, have been certified platinum. His best-known hits include "Little Rock," about a recovering alcoholic, and "I Think About You," about watching his teenage daughter grow up.
What started with a simple desire to entertain has turned into something that is almost a holy calling for Collin Raye. The man with the most muscular tenor in country music still puts on shows that are electrifying in their intensity. As album after album sells Platinum and single after single hits No.1 on the charts, Collin Raye has found that there is
something deeper and more profound about what he does than merely entertaining people.
"Winning an award isn't enough incentive to me. People come to these shows because these songs are inspiring to them. That's what gets me on that tour bus every week. That's what keeps me interested in making records."
To the man with the larger-than-life voice, the philosophical bent, the sincere humanity and the undeniable stage mastery, this isn't about stardom. It's about making music that matters.
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