‘A party’s a party’: One-on-one with Macy Gray ahead of her free Frenchmen Street performance

NEW ORLEANS -- Singer-songwriter Macy Gray is in town to promote her new album, and she's hosting a free album-listening party on Frenchmen Street Tuesday night.

You can get more information on the party at The Maison here.

Gray sat down with News with a Twist co-host LBJ Tuesday morning to dish on the party, her new album and more.

She said she's spent the past year or two focusing on her new album, which she calls "awesome."

"Even if it wasn't my album, I'd say it's great," she said. "We really took our time with it and got it right. The music is just awesome. I found the best producers and writers in town. I've grown so much as an artist. I'm a much better artist. Where I'm coming from as a musician is in a really great place right now."

As for what's in store on Frenchmen Street, Gray said it's sure to be a good time.

"I love it here," she said of New Orleans. "It's a wild spot."

The listening party is not a full-blown concert, she said, but she will be playing a couple of songs and has a few "surprises" in store for her fans.

Asked about news reports of Aretha Franklin being gravely ill, Gray called Franklin "literally the greatest singer of all time."

"She's everything. I think that's why everybody is kind of devastated," Gray said. "She's like singing 101. That's how you're supposed to sing. She set the bar for how you're supposed to sing ... She played the piano like a G. She had great songs. Her songs are always in my head. People think they're rock stars, but Aretha Franklin is a real rock star -- and a real woman. That's why everybody is so affected by it."

Gray's listening party starts at 10 p.m. at The Maison on Frenchmen, but fans are encouraged to show up early -- as a large crowd is expected.

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