Bri Ray is a 19-year-old singer/songwriter who was born and raised in Utah. Her keen interest in music began at an early age. She started learning to play the violin at the age of four. In her Facebook bio, she states, “At about age six my dad asked, ‘Bri, do you hear music in your head.’ Giggling I replied, ‘mmmhmmm!’ Only a few days after that my parents found me sitting at our keyboard playing my violin songs on the piano. They asked me who taught me that, I replied, ‘I did.’ That’s when it started.” She began taking piano lessons and at eight years of age she wrote her first song “Believe” as a Father’s Day gift for her dad and performed it at her father’s business conference.
In her young life, she has been able to experience different world cultures. When she was in the fourth grade, she and her family moved to Singapore. She even recalls a harrowing experience with leeches when she and her family visited Malaysia and decided to go on a walk through the rainforest. She says that one of her favorite memories was visiting Cambodia, and reflects on how that visit touched her heart as she realized how little the people had. Upon returning to Singapore, being almost her birthday, she decided to ask her friends for money instead of gifts, so that she could send the money to Cambodia to help children go to school. She raised enough money to send three Cambodian children to school, and they sent her letters and pictures throughout the year.
After returning to the United States, Bri still wanted to help send the Cambodian children to school. With the aid of her fifth-grade teacher, Miss Bean, and her sister, Te, she wrote some songs and created a CD. She stood outside the local mall and sang and sold CDs with 100% of the profit going to the children in Cambodia. Her small efforts proved fruitful, and she could send the kids back to school for another year.
Bri has performed for audiences of all ages and at a wide variety of venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Washington Harbor, LaVell Edwards Stadium, and The Salt Palace Convention Center. She has also performed at The New World Center in Miami, The Homestead Resort, The Utah State Fair, The Kenley Amphitheater, Scera Theater, and the Salt Lake Grand America Hotel, as well as multiple schools and youth groups. Her original music has received both national and international recognition. She is the recipient of the Silver Award from the Young Arts Foundation and was selected as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts for Singer/Songwriter. She was also named as an outstanding soloist by the Crescent Super Band and has been featured in commercial music videos. Her music can be heard across the world on radio and internet radio including iTunes, Spotify, and live TV performances.
She has been blessed to be mentored by incredible professionals such as Debbie Allen, Wally Minko, Clinton Turner Davis, Rich Parkinson and Anjanette Mickelsen, and Melanie Shore. She has recorded with industry professionals Gerry McPherson, John Hobbs, Michael Rhodes, Greg Marro, and Jeff Linsky.
Bri Ray was also a contestant on the 15th and final season of American Idol. She joined her talents with those of Jenn Blosil, Lynnzee Fraye, and Sara Sturm to form team Milk & Cookies during the Group Round. The group advanced to Hollywood Week but Bri was eliminated in the third round of that part of the competition. She talks about her journey on American Idol in a Youtube video.
In her bio on her official website, Bri states, “I write and sing to communicate, merging two gorgeous languages into one. Where the words fall short, the music pulls through. To write someone’s favorite song-a song they listen to over and over. To unconsciously become a part of someone’s life like that; to inspire them to grow, to become better…that’s extraordinary.”
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