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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, which prompted critics to call her “ignorant,” “transphobic,” a “one-hit wonder” and a “TERF” (transgender-exclusionary radical feminist ). Gray has continued to speak out about her statements, including on Wednesday in an Instagram post, in which she revealed that her new album, “The Reset,” was pushed back to August 10. It was originally scheduled for July 8.
“All of you coming on my page, threatening me and calling me names – just becuz I said something you don’t agree with – be whatever you wana be and fk off,” wrote the 54-year-old, who later said in an interview she “never meant to hurt anybody.”
Gray told “TODAY” host Hoda Kotb “it’s just about education” and wants to get to a point where everyone can “understand each other.” She noted it has been a “huge learning experience” for her. “Being a woman is a vibe, and it’s something that I’m very proud of,” she said. “And it’s very precious to me and I think that if you, in your heart, feel that that’s what you are, then that’s what you are regardless of what anybody says or thinks.”
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Shortly before the singer made her controversial remarks, she spoke to Fox News Digital about how the events of 2020 inspired her to create “The Reset.” In May of that year, she, along with the rest of the country, saw a graphic video of Ahmaud Arbery’s death that circulated online.
In February 2020, the 25-year-old Arbery was shot in a suburban neighborhood about 15 minutes from downtown Brunswick, Georgia. Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after spotting him running in their neighborhood. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan joined the pursuit in his truck and recorded a cellphone video of Travis blasting Arbery with a shotgun.
None of the three men were arrested until more than two months later when that video of Arbery’s shooting leaked online and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police. The three men each face possible life sentences after being convicted of hate crimes by a federal jury that concluded they chased and killed Arbery because he was Black. Sentencing was postponed until Aug. 8 of this year.
“When that video appeared, I just thought about it [Arbery’s] mother, “Gray told Fox News Digital.” They kept showing that clip over and over. I just thought, ‘What if she’s watching?’ Me and my two best friends, Charyn [Harris] and Grace [Blake], were on the phone, talking about it. We wanted to do something. “
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In May 2020 George Floyd, a Black man, died when then-officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground and pressed a knee to his neck for what authorities say was 9 1/2 minutes. The killing of the 46-year-old sparked protests worldwide in a reckoning over police brutality and racism.
Macy, who is a mother of three, teamed up with her two pals to launch Mygood, a nonprofit that aims to support the families who have lost loved ones to police brutality.
“This is something you don’t hear about – those that get left behind,” Gray said. “These are parents that have to live with that pain, a pain that never goes away. And you can’t fix it. You can’t take away that pain from a mother who lost her son or daughter through murder. But you can make some things easier, like helping financially with funerals. And the biggest request we receive is 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 has heard stories from families who are grieving and struggling to cope.
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“It honestly became unbearable,” she admitted. “I had to take a break. We were talking to parents on Zoom, and I was sharing these stories on my social media platforms to raise awareness. But I had to take a break because it was so painful hearing these stories. It was heartbreaking. .I feel bad saying that.But none of these deaths were justified.And look, I’m all for police.We’re not anti-police at all.But you still have a mother, a father, sister, brother, son , daughter, who will never be the same because of this… And every time my son goes out, I get worried sick. He’s 26 and can handle himself. But after you hear these stories, you can’t help but wonder. And worry . “
When reflecting on “The Reset,” the singer said there is a song called “PTSD” which describes how the events of 2020 in America left her “traumatized.”
“It’s about what’s going on in the world and what it did to everybody mentally,” she explained. “I know everybody’s a little messed up after all that. We still have the residue of it with January 6 and all the politics that are still happening, everything that our last regime left behind. All of this has been dropped on us. We ‘ re still trying to recover. “
Gray said she created her latest album while isolated during the pandemic coronavirus.
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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 all over the place. So I just went in and did my thing. It felt like the right time to just pour everything out there.”
Gray hopes that “The Reset” will “uplift” listeners during this “weird time” in history.
“I hope it makes people happy somehow,” she said. “There’s just so much violence and chaos right now. We have a mess here, and I don’t know how we’re gonna get out of it. There seems to be no strategy here. Nobody seems to be talking about that. Politicians are just focused on getting reelected, not really looking after us… So I do hope this album gives everybody a break. That’s really all music can do, help you forget about all your problems. You can forget about 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’s next. “
FOX News’ Brie Stimson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.