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Jimmy Ray

Fusing a neo-rockabilly image with contemporary dance-pop rhythms, singer Jimmy Ray was born and raised in East London, where he grew up on a steady diet of classic Elvis, Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele singles. He later surfaced in a techno duo called A.V., recording an album which went unreleased; upon mounting a solo career, Ray was signed by manager Simon Fuller, the same impresario who launched the Spice Girls to superstardom. His debut single, "Are You Jimmy Ray?," was issued in the UK in late 1997, becoming a hit both at home and in the U.S.; a self-titled LP followed the next year. Jason Ankeny

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