Sugar Ray is a rock band from Orange County, California. Initially comprised of Rodney Sheppard and Stan Frazier, under the name The Tories, later additions Murphy Karges and Mark McGrath changed the band's name to Shrinky Dinx. After signing with Atlantic Records, the name was changed to Sugar Ray upon threat of lawsuit from the Milton Bradley Company (maker of the Shrinky Dinks toy).
The band's debut album, “Lemonade and Brownies,” was released in 1995 and though it failed to produce a major hit single it did earn them recognition in alternative circles. Their early work was strongly influenced by funk metal, punk, and alternative rock. This first album leaned on experimenting with those many influences, combining genres.
Their 1997 album “Floored” featured their first mainstream hit with the song "Fly," which featured reggae artist Super Cat. "Fly" was notable for not sounding anything at all like the rest of the tracks on the album and received frequent radio play, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. As a result of the success of "Fly," “Floored” sold well and was certified double platinum. “Floored” featured a strong nu metal influence and was the band's last "heavy" album before they moved into a more adult contemporary direction.
Their 1999 album “14:59” was the reply to accusations that they were one-hit-wonders, with the title implying that their 15 minutes of fame were not quite up with their "fame clock" reading 14:59.\ "Every Morning," which received widespread comparisons to "Fly," rose to similar success during the spring of 1999, reaching #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their follow-up single "Someday" received extensive airplay later that year as well and reached #7. “14:59” outsold its predecessor and was certified triple platinum. Another Billboard hit, "Falls Apart," gained popularity as well.
In 2000, Sugar Ray did a cover version of John Cale and Brian Eno's "Spinning Away" for the soundtrack to "The Beach." Their 2001 self-titled album “Sugar Ray “produced another hit with "When It's Over," which failed to reach the same level as their previous singles.
Sugar Ray's 2003 effort “In the Pursuit of Leisure”, and the first single from that album, "Mr. Bartender (It's So Easy)," received a lukewarm reception. In 2005, Sugar Ray released a greatest hits album, with three new songs ("Shot of Laughter," "Time After Time," and "Psychedelic Bee").
In January 2006, Sugar Ray was released from their recording contract with Atlantic Records. "Into Yesterday" which appeared on the “Surf's Up” movie soundtrack was released in June 2007.
“Music for Cougars,” was released in July 2009. The first single was "Boardwalk." The album was not as successful commercially as previous Sugar Ray albums. It only reached #80 on the Billboard 200 chart, with none of the album's three singles charting.