Holly Rey Biography| Real Name, Early Life, Education, Music Career Masked Singer, Battle with Diabetes
Holly Rey is a renowned award-winning South African Afro-electro house singer and songwriter.
Early Life and Education
Holly Rey was born in 1996 and raised in Westville, KwaZulu-Natal. Her upbringing was under the care of a single mother and her grandmother, having never met her father. In 2019, Holly Rey graduated from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) with a degree in Media Studies
Holly Rey’s musical journey commenced at the young age of 14 when she signed her first publishing deal with Sony. Her uncle, a musician, played a pivotal role in her musical upbringing, teaching her to play the guitar during their lessons.
Holly Rey released her first album titled “Strawberry Skies” in 2010. This album marked the beginning of her musical career and showcased her talent as a singer and songwriter.
Holly Rey has graced numerous stages with her performances, including the 2015 Cape Town Jazz Festival, the 2014 and 2016 Umgababa New Year’s Picnic, the 2016 Durban Jazz Festival, the Essence Festival, and the 2016 Shisanyama Festival.
Her notable collaboration with Mondli Ngcobo resulted in the production and co-writing of the hit song ‘Inhliziyo Yami.’
Following this success, she released a three-track EP and a single titled ‘Bang Bang.’ At the age of 18, Holly Rey started her own record label at the age of 18 and released her album titled Vanilla House under it.
Throughout her career, she has collaborated with esteemed artists such as DreamTeam, Professor, Zakes Bantwini, EmEx, and musicians from Mozambique, Senegal, Congo, and Nigeria.
Holly Rey’s breakthrough came in May 2018 with the release of her single “Deeper,” produced by Mondli Ngcobo. This song achieved remarkable success, winning the prestigious Record of the Year award at the 25th South African Music Awards, making her the first female artist to achieve this distinction in two decades.
In March 2019, Holly Rey released “You,” a single that garnered over 3.5 million streams and earned a 3× platinum certification from the Recording Industry of South Africa, with sales reaching 293,055 units. Her rising stardom led her to headline the One Big Night in Sobekeng concert in August 2019.
On April 29, 2022, Holly Rey announced and released her EP titled “Unconditional.” Her collaboration with Blxckie resulted in the release of the single “Slow Down” on April 28, 2023.
Holly Rey is set to release her upcoming extended play, “3 AM Pt. 1,” scheduled for release on September 15, 2023.
- In 2020, she won the Record of the Year award at the 25th South African Music Awards (SAMA)
- Holly Rey won the award for “Pop Artist of the Year” for her album “Stripped” at the Basadi in Music Awards in 2022.
Masked Singer South Africa Champion
In a thrilling turn of events, Holly Rey participated in and won the Masked Singer South Africa competition in August 2023, marking her as the first winner of this prestigious title.
As the winner of the Masked Singer, was gifted a Mercedes Benz GLC.
Battle with Diabetes
Holly Rey’s journey has been marked not only by musical triumphs but also by personal challenges. At the age of 11, she was diagnosed with diabetes, initially misdiagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. A year later, she faced a critical health crisis that led to her admission to the ICU due to diabetes-related complications. It was then that she was correctly diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic, highlighting her resilience in overcoming health obstacles while pursuing her music career.