Thursday June 1
For Michael Ray, music is his grandfather singing and sweating on a rural Florida stage. It’s thechildhood refuge he found during the pain of his parent's divorce. It’s family and stories, historyand hope. Ray says music saved him, but it did even more:Music made him. Ray has built animpressive foundation: four No. 1 songs–RIAA Platinum-certified “Think a Little Less,”RIAAPlatinum-certified “Whiskey And Rain,”RIAA Gold-certified “Kiss You in the Morning,”RIAA Gold-certified “One That Got Away”–plus “Get to You” and “Her World or Mine,”brings his tally tofourGold-certified singles. Ray has garnered over 1 billion global streams,over 650,000 album equivalents, over 150 million YouTube views, and has performed at theGrand Ole Opryover65times.Two hit albums into that all-too-rare blend of critically acclaimedand commercially successful career, Ray releasedHigher Education.Proof that heartbrokenwallowing can feel good if it swings, “Whiskey AndRain” marked his first multi-week No. 1,cementing Ray as the ideal bridge between vintage country cool and modern country’s bestsounds.Ray recently releasedThe Bootleggers Sessions,which features classic country covers,includingTracy Lawrence’s“Time Marches On,”George Strait’s “The Chair”and RandyTravis’s “Three Wooden Crosses,”followingThe Warehouse Sessions,oflive performances ofsongs fromHigher Education. Ray is gearing up to release more new music this spring and iscurrently in thestudio with award-winning producer Michael Knox.
Born in Charlotte, and raised on Lake Norman this North Carolina artist made a name for herself from the early age of fifteen, and by twenty years old was named "Best Female Country Vocalist Queen City" in 2020 and 2021.
Her life in music started early. Her grandparents were pastors and opened up her first opportunity to perform through worship leading. This led to her getting involved with the "Fine Arts Competition" where she made nationals in California, Ohio, Kentucky, and Orlando, Florida.
Brooke's dad was a big fan of music and turned her ears to classic rock. He would take her to see live bands, which led to her being a part of open mics and quickly inspired her to make music. At just 15 years old, Brooke started her first band, Seven Days.
Influenced by classic rockstars like Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, and Janis Joplin, Brooke found her voice matched their styles and strengths, with Dolly Parton being a later influence.
Brooke would later move to Raleigh for worship leading but would drive home to Charlotte every weekend to play shows. Her passion for playing in the band while growing her independence, and vocal skills were crucial in her growth as an artist.
In 2019, at the age of 19, Brooke went to Nashville to record with Mike Caputy. While there she got the opportunity to be in a room and write with hit songwriter Bruce Burch (Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Aaron Tippin, and George Jones, among others.) This was Brooke's first time seeing what the industry in the city of Nashville was really about.
On the second visit to Nashville she watched several local rounds for the first time, which helped Brooke realize she wanted to live in Nashville full time. Hearing new music, the creativity, and diversity of different artists, and seeing the hunger, drive, support, and respect other artists have for each other was something she wanted to be a part of.
Brooke moved to Nashville in January 2021. Things would come full circle when she also had the opportunity to play in those very same rounds.Learning about the writing atmosphere at rounds inspired her to write more music herself and evolve as an artist and get more involved with publishing.
"Anything I write is about something that's happened in my life or things about me that I can relate to," says Brooke Lee. "Someone once told me I was too young to have experiences to write about. I promised myself in that moment to be intentional, authentic, and genuine with everything I write and sing."
In 2022, Brooke's goal was to get new music out and tour often. One of her lifetime goals was to play Coyote Joe’s, a regular popular spot in Charlotte she would attend as a fan growing up, and in January of 22' she made that happen.
Continuing to be around other artists in Nashville, and spending that first year figuring out how to survive and live in this wild music city has now driven her to push putting out new music and content that is showcasing her sound and brand. Through a constant grind, she has put herself in positions to walk through some incredible doors. One of her biggest influencers is Morgan Wade, and Brooke is now working with her co-producer, Paul Ebersold. Her upcoming releases have incredible writers, including one written with Rob Williford (Luke Combs).
Brooke has a signature sound and vibe that resonates with audiences of all styles and ages. Her resiliency, high goals, raw talent, and passion have set her up for a great career in her music journey.