Macy Gray Lost Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Due to Problem Gambling

Pop singer Macy Gray has lost most of her fortune due to problem gambling. The singer, best known for her 1999 hit single “I Try“, says she has a love for playing cards.

While Gray has had her successes at the casino (winning $28 thousand at one time), she has lost far more than she ever won. When asked by Telegraph UK how much she had lost, Macy Gray replied, “Hundreds of thousands, I guess. Not millions, though I’ve definitely lost a lot of money. Enough to go and buy myself another house (if she hadn’t spent it).

Financial Troubles Due to Various Bad Decisions

The musical artist said that her financial troubles are due to several bad decisions–not just gambling. But despite major success at the turn of the 21st century, many would label her a one-hit wonder, so she shouldn’t squander her fortune. These days, Gray’s accountants confine her to a weekly salary. That way, she can only spend so much money at one time.

When discussing her gambling addiction, Macy Gray told the UK papers, “I love gambling and that’s another bad financial decision I’ve made; to play cards for money. The most I’ve won in one night is US$28,000 playing blackjack and when I’m in Vegas I love playing poker and I just lose my mind but not to the point where I think I’ve got a problem. I don’t get up in the middle of the night and go every day, nothing like that.

Macy Gray’s Musical Career

Macy Gray burst upon the music scene in 1999 with her multi-platinum debut album, “On How Life Is”. That album contained her signature hit, “I Try”, which became a pop standard on radio stations around the globe. The song peaked at #6 on the UK charts, #5 in the United States, and #1 in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Over the years, Macy Gray has been nominated for 6 Grammy Awards. She’s won one Grammy in that time. Her songs have appeared on the soundtrack of a half-dozen movies, including Training Day, Spider-Man, and Scary Movie 3. Lesser-known films which contained soundtrack songs include Idlewild, Lackawanna Blues, and For Colored Girls.

Celebrity Appearances and Other Projects

She has appeared as a celebrity in a number of TV shows, including Bravo Channel’s Celebrity Poker Showdown and the Nickelodeon animated series, As Told By Ginger. She also appeared on Dancing with the Stars Season 9, partnering with dancer Jonathan Roberts. She headlined the 2008 Summer Sundae music festival, which was held in Leicester, England. While wearing an Andy Warhol wig, she performed renditions of Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is In the Heart”, Radiohead’s “Creep”, and Rod Stewart’s rock standard “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”.

In 2005, the pop singer opened the Macy Gray Music Academy.

Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

After her success, Macy Gray was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. A person with bipolar disorder has periods of hyper-energy, in which they have trouble sleeping, but their personality and energy is high. This is followed by a period of depression and low energy, in which some sufferers experience suicidal tendencies. Bipolar disorder is known to have plagued a number of artistic sorts over the years, explaining their prodigious output, as well as their descent into inactivity. Vincent Van Gogh is thought to have suffered from manic depression, and that condition is thought to have led to his suicide.

The list of musicians who have suffered from bipolar disorder is legion: Robert Schumann, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Britney Spears, Axl Rose, Scott Weiland, Adam Ant, Chris Brown, Rosemary CLooney, DMX, Sinead O’Connor, Beth Hart, Demi Lovato, Ben Moody of Evanescence, Jaco Pastorius, Odean Pope, Charley Pride, Dusty Springfield, Peter Steele, Devin Townsend, Townes Van Zandt, Pete Wentz, Jack Irons, Daniel Johnston, Krizz Kaliko, and Otto Klemperer are all known to have suffered from bi-polar disorder.The list of performers in other fields is also large, including Marilyn Monroe, Robin Williams, Mel Gibson, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rene Russo, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dick Cavett, football star Paul Gascoigne, Burgess Meredith, Kim Novak, NBA star Metta World Peace, Richard Dreyfuss, Patty Duke, Carrie Fisher, Linda Hamilton, and Vivian Leigh.

People from many other walks of life have dealt with manic depression, including a whole host of writers, philosophers, corporate executives, and world leaders. The full list is immense, but some in non-entertainment fields who have had bipolar disorder include Florence Nightingale, Adolf Hitler, Ernest Hemingway, Friedrich Nietzsche, Larry Flynt, Virginia Woolf, and Ted Turner. As one might notice, many of these people are thought to have committed suicide, while many others dealt with serious behavioral issues.

Bipolar and Gambling Addiction

While it’s unknown how much of an affect Macy Gray’s bipolar condition has on her gambling habits, researchers believe there is a link between bipolar disorder and gambling addiction. During a depression phase, the sufferer might self-medicate by gambling compulsively. The thrills of gambling make the person feel alive, by feeling intense emotions and adrenaline rushes. During a manic phase, the behavior of the person with BPD reflects their maniacal nature. They simply cannot stop themselves, so they continue gambling.

Such a condition is likely to appear in other facets of a person’s behavior, such as compulsive spending or shopping, behavior that might lead to addictions, unhealthy thrillseeking behavior, and even (in some cases) suicidal behavior. Under the circumstances, it is good that Macy Gray has responsible accountants who keep her money-spending behaviors under control.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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