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Kitty Ray (born Kathryn-Leigh Beckwith; February 25, 1993), known professionally as Kitty or, previously Kitty Pryde, is an American rapper and singer-songwriter. She is known for her wide sound experimentation and for bringing alternative and underground styles to mainstream attention.

While serving as a member of Jokers in Trousers, a comedy hip hop group, she received recognition from fellow American rapper Riff Raff. They stayed in touch and he helped her to get signed to then newly founded recording label Eye Records, by the end of 2015.

Kitty released her debut album Impatiens in 2016, which featured the hit singles "#Unfollowed" and "BRB", both of which reached top 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100. A follow-up reissue to the album, Impatiens: Platinum Edition, was also successful. That year, she also opened Nicki Minaj's tour, The Onika World Tour, which made they bound to each other. Nicki eventually offered Kitty a deal on her self-owned label, Pink Friday Entertainment.

Kitty's second full-length album, Two Birds, One Kitty (2017), explored a wide array of genres, spanning from dance-pop, to cloud rap, to bubblegum bass. It featured her first number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100, "Wrapper". The record peaked atop the US Billboard 200 and was met with universal acclaim, winning two categories at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, including the prestigious Album of the Year award. Kitty embarked on her first world tour that same year, the Kittaveli Tour, which visited arenas in North America, Europe and Oceania.

Also in 2017, Kitty made her acting debut starring on the indie movie Babysitter. Despite being an independent film, due to her popularity Netflix decided to purchase the rights to the movie and premiered it on the platform in January 25, 2017. The singer received acclaim for her acting, although the movie itself was met with lukewarm reception.

In 2018, Kitty released her third full-length album after a brief period of strong laryngitis due to extensive touring. Flirting with the bedroom pop influences from her earlier work, Miami debuted atop the US Billboard 200, making it her third consecutive number one album in the United States. With the feat, she also became the first female artist to debut this decade to have her three first albums debuting at number one on the chart.

Kitty independently released her fourth studio album, Hello Kitty in 2019, which features the singles "Hello Kitty", "Platform Shoes", "Mine" and "Candy". The album bowed at number 1 on the US Billboard 200, continuing her strike of chart-topping records and becoming one of the only forty independent albums that have reached the top of the chart. Her fifth album, Rose Gold, is slated for release in the summer of 2020.

The singer is set to score the music featured in the upcoming indie life sim game Paralives, and contributed to the soundtrack of the fifth and final Life Is Strange 2 episode, released in December 2019.

Early life[]

Kitty was a clerk at Claire's in Daytona Beach. She started college when she was 16, and signed up to attend classes at the University of Central Florida.

Career[]

2010–15: Jokers in Trousers and university[]

In high school, Kitty was interested in writing poetry, and was encouraged by a classmate to try rapping. She wrote songs about an ex-boyfriend as a joke, and shared them via Tumblr. Her first song, titled "Sickfit", was shared in September 2010. In 2011, Kittythen known as Kitty Prydefronted the four-piece hip-hop group Jokers in Trousers. The other members of the all-female group were known as Hamtaro, Mimi-Chan and HH Slider. They released a self-titled extended play on May 24, 2011. This would be the group's only release.

In July 2011, one of Kitty's Tumblr followers compiled a mixtape out of songs ripped from her blog, and made it available to download through MediaFire. The mixtape, called The Lizzie McGuire Experience, included the 8 tracks from the Jokers in Trousers EP and 4 other songs. Despite the unofficial nature of the release, Kitty shared the download link through her social media pages.

The mixtape received attention from fellow American rapper Riff Raff, who stayed in touch with Kitty and in 2015, after she received her Visual Arts and Emerging Media Management bachelor's degree, helped her to get a contract with then newly founded recording label Eye Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

2016: Breakthrough with Impatiens[]

2017: Two Birds, One Kitty[]

2018: Miami[]

2019–present: Independent ventures, Hello Kitty and game scoring[]

In October 2018, Kitty announced that she amicably left her previous recording label, Island Records, which released her third album Miami. Kitty also stated that she did not intend to sign to another label in the near future, preferring instead to unleash her new music independently. Although she did not properly found a label, her latest studio album Hello Kitty (2019) has been noted by fans for having copyrights claimed by an entity called Kittaveli on the streaming platform Spotify.

On November 29, 2018, Kitty released two new singles titled "Hello Kitty" and "Platform Shoes". Videos for "Hello Kitty" and "Platform Shoes" have been respectively released in December 2018 and January 2019. A month later, the songstress revealed that the album was totally complete, and that she was aiming to release it in a few months' time.

Two new songs, "Mine" and "vacation bible school", surfaced online on February 2019, the former being a Valentine's Day special release. Three more tracks followed on March: "Vacation Bible School", "Good Thing Going On", a collaboration with Sophie, and "Break", a duet with Ivy. Kitty's third studio album, named Hello Kitty after its first single, was announced through her social media accounts on April 5. The album was released on May 17, 2019, becoming her fourth consecutive album to peak at number one on the US Billboard 200 charts. An additional single, "Candy", featuring Britney Spears, preceded the album release in two weeks, and the promotional song "Swimming Pool" received a self-directed music video co-starring Kitty's frequent collaborator Doja Cat in July.

Through August and September, Kitty released a string of singles dubbed under the installation title Endless Summer, after a "deep period of reflection upon [her] artistry and the paths [her] career were taking". The songs, titled "Summer's Wasting", "Cassie Ainsworth", "Pills" and "Now That It's Gone" were received with critical praise and a warm commercial response, all appearing on the top thirty of the US Billboard Hot 100.

In September, it was announced that Kitty would score the music to the upcoming indie life simulation game Paralives, slated for an early 2021 review.

Upcoming projects: Rose Gold[]

In an interview with New York Times, Kitty said she did not want to take a break between albums and confirmed that a new record titled Rose Gold was slated for a summer of 2020 release.

Personal life[]

On May 25, 2016, Kitty married musician Sam Ray.

Kitty is an advocate for mental health, and in 2015 she participated in Project UROK, a mental illness de-stigmatization initiative developed by the Child Mind Institute in 2014.

Discography[]

Main article: Kitty discography

Tours[]

See also: List of Kitty live performances

Headlining

  • Kittaveli Tour (2017–18)
  • Miami Tour (2018)

Opening

  • The Onika World Tour (2016)

Filmography[]

  • Babysitter (2017)

Works[]

Year Title Role
2019 Life Is Strange 2 Additional music for Episode 5
2021 Paralives Composer

Awards[]

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Kitty

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