Since emerging in 2013 as part of the Christian hip-hop collective W.L.A.K. (We Live as Kings"), Ohio-based R&B singer, rapper, and producer Christon Gray has built a successful solo career which blends contemporary hip-hop and soul with spiritual themes, allowing him to cross over into the mainstream with releases like 2016's The Glory Album and its breakout hit "Stop Me."
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Gray first came to Christian rap through his work with the Elevationists, a group he formed with his brother Taelor Gray in 2006 that yielded the 2007 album The Necessary. After releasing a solo album, Even with Evil with Me in 2011, Gray became part of the W.L.A.K. collective, and the group released the highly successful W.L.A.K. album in 2013. His second solo album, School of Roses, appeared from Collision Records early in 2014, spotlighting Gray's unique mix of soul, pop, hip-hop, and Christian spirituality. In 2016, after he signed to Kirk Franklin's Fo Yo Soul label, he released The Glory Album which reached number five on Billboard's R&B chart and number six on the Christian chart. Gray's single, "Stop Me," became a breakout hit, landing prominent placements on shows like HBO's Ballers and FOX's Lethal Weapon, and the movie Rampage. By 2017, the song had also become a regular fixture on FOX Sports' programming, with several major sports teams using it as a theme song. Around this time, Gray announced he'd split with Fo Yo Soul and released a pair of independent singles, "No Hesitation" and "Shoulda Known." He was also confirmed as the Worship Leader at Christ's Church in Mason, Ohio. By the end of 2017, Gray had renegotiated a deal with Fo Yo Soul and re-signed with the label for his follow-up album, Clear the Heir, which arrived in October 2018. ~ Steve Leggett