Sugar Ray is a rock band from Orange County, California.
Sugar Ray started in the late 1980s as a group of friends at Corona del Mar High School. Initially comprising Rodney Sheppard and Stan Frazier (under the name The Tories). Later additions Murphy Karges and Mark McGrath changed the band's name to Shrinky Dinx. After signing with Atlantic Records, the name was changed to Sugar Ray upon threat of lawsuit from the Milton Bradley Company (maker of the Shrinky Dinks toy).
The band's debut album, Lemonade and Brownies, was released in 1995, though it failed to produce a major hit single. Their early work was strongly influenced by funk metal, pop, and alternative rock. This first album leaned on experimenting with those many influences, combining genres.
After they gained fame with the 1997 album Floored in 1998, the single "Mean Machine" off Lemonade and Brownies, was featured as one of the soundtracks of the popular PlayStation game "Road Rash 3D", as well as the Nintendo 64 (Road Rash 64) version of the game. The song appeared randomly both in-game as well as in the menus.
Sugar Ray's first mainstream hit came in the summer of 1997 with their song "Fly," which was released on the album Floored and featured reggae artist Super Cat. "Fly" was notable for not sounding anything at all like the rest of the tracks on the album and received frequent radio play. As a result of the success of "Fly," Floored sold well and was certified double platinum. However, by the end of 1997, critics were skeptical that Sugar Ray could put out another successful song and labeled them a one-hit wonder. The same year, Sugar Ray was featured in the movie Father's Day, starring Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. Floored featured a strong nu metal influence and was their last "heavy" album before they moved into a more adult contemporary direction.
Their 1999 album 14:59 was the reply to these accusations, with the title implying that their fifteen minutes of fame were not quite up ??? their 'fame clock' reading 14:59. "Every Morning," which received widespread comparisons to "Fly," rose to similar success during the spring of 1999, reaching No. 3 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their follow-up single "Someday" received extensive airplay later that year as well and reached No. 7 in the U.S. 14:59 outsold its predecessor and was certified triple platinum.
Sugar Ray and In the Pursuit of Leisure
Their 2001 self-titled album Sugar Ray produced another hit with "When It's Over" which failed to reach the same level as their previous singles. Sugar Ray's 2003 effort In the Pursuit of Leisure, and the first single from that album, "Mr. Bartender (It's So Easy)" received a lukewarm reception. In 2005, Sugar Ray released a greatest hits album, with three new songs ("Shot of Laughter", "Time After Time" and "Psychedelic Bee").
In January 2006, Sugar Ray was released from their recording contract with Atlantic Records. "Into Yesterday" on the Surf's Up movie soundtrack was released in June 2007. The band has been touring Asia, most recently in Singapore in August 2007 where they headlined SingFest, the nation's first international music festival.
In May 2008, Sugar Ray hinted in a Myspace blog that they were going to make an announcement that would "make all fans very, very happy". The announcement came on May 19, 2008, that the band would be entering the studio to record their first album of new material since 2003. It was also announced that the band signed a new record deal with Pulse Recordings and that the new album should be released in the summer of 2009.
Sugar Ray appeared on the May 18, 2008, on the season 3 finale of American Dad, titled "Spring Break-Up", as themselves, playing "Fly" at a Spring Break party. They also starred in the first live-action Scooby-Doo movie as themselves performing the song 'Words to Me'.
On March 6, 2009, Mark McGrath posted an update on Facebook announcing that a new album, titled Music for Cougars, will be released on July 21. The first single is "Boardwalk".
Mark McGrath - Vocals, guitar
Rodney Sheppard - Guitar, vocals
Murphy Karges - Bass guitar, vocals
Stan Frazier - Drums, percussion, Guitar, vocals
Craig 'DJ Homicide' Bullock - turntables, programming (joined in 1996)