Tamyra Gray first caught the attention of audiences when she was one of the finalists on the first season of American Idol. She'd competed in pageants from a young age, and was crowned Miss Atlanta in 1998. She also attended Georgia State University, where she majored in business law and entertainment management while also looking for a way to get her foot in the show-business door as a performer. Gray finally had her chance in 2002 when she auditioned for the American Idol judges and won a coveted spot as a finalist. She eventually finished the competition in fourth place, but in the end, she found a recording contract and an outlet for her musical creativity. Gray also pursued an acting career, landing a recurring role on the prime-time drama Boston Public, as well as a substantial part in the religious drama The Gospel.