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Macy Gray has been the center of controversy this week.
The singer received backlash for comments she made about gender identity during an interview with Piers Morgan, leading critics to label her “ignorant,” “transphobic,” a “one-hit wonder,” and “TERF” (transgender-exclusionary radical feminist) to designate ). Gray has continued to speak out about her statements, including Wednesday in an Instagram post revealing that her new album, The Reset, has been pushed back to August 10. It was originally scheduled for July 8th.
“Any of you who come to my side, threaten me and berate me – just because I said something you disagree with – be whatever you want and fuck off,” the 54-year-old wrote , who later told an interview that she “never meant to hurt anyone.”
Gray told TODAY host Hoda Kotb that “it’s all about education” and wants to get to a point where everyone can “get along.” She noted that it was a “huge learning experience” for her. “Being a woman is a mood and I’m very proud of that,” she said. “And it’s very precious to me and I think if that’s what you feel in your heart, that’s who you are, regardless of what anyone says or thinks.”
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Just before making her controversial remarks, the singer spoke to Fox News Digital about how the events of 2020 inspired her to create The Reset. In May of the same year, she, along with the rest of the country, saw a vivid video of Ahmaud Arbery’s death circulating on the internet.
In February 2020, 25-year-old Arbery was shot dead in a suburban area about 15 minutes from downtown Brunswick, Georgia. Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after seeing him walking around their neighborhood. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan joined the pursuit in his truck and recorded cellphone video of Travis blowing up Arbery with a shotgun.
None of the three men were arrested until more than two months later, video of Arbery’s shooting leaked online and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police. The three men face possible life sentences after being convicted of hate crimes by a federal jury, which concluded they stalked and killed Arbery because he was black. The sentencing was postponed to August 8 of this year.
“When this video came out, I was just thinking about it [Arbery’s] Mom,” Gray told Fox News Digital. “They showed this clip over and over again. I just thought, ‘What if she’s watching?’ Me and my two best friends, Charyn [Harris] and grace [Blake]They called, talked about it. We wanted to do something.”
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In May 2020, George Floyd, a black man, died when then-official Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground and pinched his neck with a knee for 9 1/2 minutes. The killing of the 46-year-old sparked protests around the world in a reckoning of police brutality and racism.
Macy, who is a mother of three, has teamed up with her two friends to start Mygood, a non-profit organization that aims to support families who have lost loved ones to police brutality.
“That’s something you don’t hear about — those who are left behind,” Gray said. “These are parents who have to live with this pain, a pain that never goes away. And you can’t heal him. You can’t take that pain away from a mother who lost her son or daughter to murder. But you can make some things easier, like helping out financially at funerals. And the biggest request we get is for mental health resources. They all want someone to talk to, but they don’t know where to go.”
Gray said that through the foundation, she’s heard stories of families grieving and struggling to cope.
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“It got frankly unbearable,” she admitted. “I had to take a break. We spoke to parents via Zoom and I shared these stories on my social media platforms to raise awareness. But I had to take a break because it was so painful to hear those stories. It was heartbreaking…I feel bad for saying that. But none of these deaths were justified. And look, I’m everything for the police. We’re not against the police at all. But you still have a mother, father, sister, brother, son “, daughter who will never be the same because of it… And every time my son goes out, I get sick with worry. He is 26 and doing just fine. But after hearing these stories, you can’t help but wonder. And worry.”
Reflecting on “The Reset,” the singer said there was a song called “PTSD” that describes how the events of 2020 in America left her “traumatized.”
“It’s about what’s going on in the world and what it’s done to everyone mentally,” she explained. “I know everyone is a bit confused after all this. We still have the remnants of that with January 6th and all the politics that’s still happening, everything that our last regime left behind. All of this was dropped on us. We’re still trying to recover.”
Gray said she created her latest album while isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.
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“At the end of the night you pray that the next day will be better,” she said. “We were all emotional and just everywhere. So I just went in and did my thing. It felt like the right time to just pour everything out there.”
Gray hopes “The Reset” will “edify” listeners at this “strange time” in history.
“I hope it makes people happy in some way,” she said. “There is so much violence and chaos right now. We’ve got a mess here and I don’t know how to get out of it. There seems to be no strategy here. Nobody seems to be talking about it. Politicians only focus on getting re-elected instead of really caring about us… So I hope this album gives everyone a break. That’s really all music can do, help you forget all your troubles. You can forget other people’s opinions of you, how much money you don’t have, and what you need to do next. But we’ll see what comes next.
Brie Stimson of FOX News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.