Traffic sucks, so why not start your morning off with some music? You provide the toast and we’ll provide the jams.

“I try to say goodbye and I choke. I try to walk away and I stumble”—these lyrics, sung in a unique, raspy voice—blasted from radios all across the world at the beginning of the new millennium.

The person behind these words was Macy Gray (her real name: Natalie McIntyre) a young singer from Canton, Ohio who moved to Los Angeles as a teen to study scriptwriting. While there, she wrote lyrics as a way to get to know a guitar player she liked; when the guitarist’s singer didn’t show up one night to a show, Gray took the mic, and the rest is history.