Mark McGrath


Sugar Ray

Mark McGrath is often derided by critics for being an alternative rock pinup boy. Since McGrath hasn’t established a laudable body of work, his boyish good looks are often credited for the popularity of his band Sugar Ray. However, McGrath has evolved as an artist, from the derivative funk metal of Sugar Ray’s early work to the warm croon he established with Sugar Ray’s chart-topping “Fly” in 1997. Born Mark Sayers McGrath on March 15, 1968, in Hartford, CT, McGrath was raised in Newport Beach, CA. In 1992, McGrath formed Sugar Ray with Rodney Sheppard (guitar), Murphy Karges (bass), Stan Frazier (drums), Craig “DJ Homicide” Bullock in Orange County, CA. While Sugar Ray’s 1995 debut album Lemonade & Brownies was a flop, the sunny, reggae-inflected hooks of “Fly” reaped platinum sales for the Floored CD two years later. Moreover, the video for “Fly” transformed McGrath into a sex symbol. While accusations of selling out were hurled at him, McGrath continued to acknowledge his punk roots, answering trivia questions about ’80s new wave music on VH1’s Rock & Roll Jeopardy with the authority of a true aficionado; he also sang fondly about the new wave days of Los Angeles radio station KROQ in “Under the Sun” from Sugar Ray’s self-titled fourth album in 2001. McGrath also appeared on Strait Up, a tribute to Snot’s late vocalist Lynn Strait, contributing vocals to the track “Reaching Out.” ~ Michael Sutton