Macy Gray has won a Grammy, cracked the Top 5 on the Hot 100 and has steadily released music over the past 15 years, but she was still surprised when Booker T. Jones, one of the founders of the legendary Stax band Booker T. and the MG's, agreed to work with her on her new album, The Way. Gray's latest full-length hits stores next Tuesday (Oct. 7), but you can hear the Gray/Jones collaboration "First Time (Revised)" -- and the rest of the LP -- exclusively on Billboard.com below.
"One of my favorite songs is 'Ain't No Sunshine' by Bill Withers," Gray tells Billboard. "I'm trying to make a ballad kind of like 'Ain't No Sunshine' and then I just said, 'F--- it, why don't we just call the guy who [produced] it' -- not really believing he would say yes." But Jones, who helmed "Ain't No Sunshine" back in 1971, called her back, presumably excited to work with such a charismatic vocalist on "First Time (Revised)."