Were it not for his Irish fan base, it's probable that David Gray may have called it a day a decade ago. Now a major star worldwide, 1997 saw Gray hit a commercial wall as his career seemed to be stuttering to a premature end. Having released three albums on three different labels, the Manchester-born songwriter had suffered the ignominy of being dropped after the release of each new work. Label-less, and with success seemingly eluding him, Gray decided to have one final throw of the dice by self-releasing and self-financing his fourth album, 'White Ladder'. Viewing Ireland as the country most receptive to his past work, the album was initially conceived as an Irish-only release to come out on Gray's own IHT label - a moniker made in jest at the fact that Gray couldn't make a 'hit' even if the letters were placed in front of him - in early 1998.
The album went on to prove less a hit and more a phenomenon. An initial run of 4,000 copies sold out almost instantly as Irish radio began to spin 'Babylon' almost constantly. Soon shops began to have trouble keeping up with demand as the album went on to eventually become the biggest selling album of all-time in this country - a status it still lays claim to today. Laced with a slew of hit singles such as 'Babylon', 'Sail Away' and 'Please Forgive Me', it wasn't long before 'White Ladder' went on to achieve similarly huge success in the UK a year later, whilst also breaking Gray in the US. The unexpected success of the album saw Gray almost constantly touring, incurring a host of notable gig highlights along the way - notably Glastonbury in 2000 and Dublin's Point Depot the same year. Four years after the initial release of 'White Ladder', Gray followed up with 2002's 'A New Day at Midnight', an album which was tempered by the death of the songwriter's father a year previous and received a muted critical response.
Nonetheless, it saw Gray once again top the charts in the UK and Ireland. His 2005 album 'Life in Slow Motion', achieved similar success and also gave Gray his biggest chart hit to date in the US.
David Gray is not one to rest on his laurels; 12 million album sales, the bestselling album in Ireland ever with White Ladder, a BAFTA nomination for his soundtrack work on Amma Assante's 2004 film A Way Of Life. Two Ivor Novellos, a Q award, two Brit nominations and a Grammy nomination.
The british singer-songwriter, currently working on his tenth studio album, rooted his work in contemporary folk-rock before experimenting with more computer-generated music in later albums. He has now earned a reputation of being a stalwart of the DIY music scene having recorded many tracks himself and releasing all his albums independently.