Ray’s career as a professional singer started as the lead singer for a group called 4 P.M. (For Positive Music). This was an American male R&B group best known for their cover version of "Sukiyaki", which peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in February 1995.
The group was started in 1991 in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland by brothers Roberto Peña, Jr. and Reney (Ray) Peña with Larry McFarland and Martiz Ware. They were originally known as IV Real, and performed in local talent shows from Baltimore to New York.
After a 1994 performance at a record release party, they were signed by Next Plateau Records and moved to New York City. Their debut album, Now's the Time, which peaked at #96 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, included a cover version of Kyu Sakamoto's 1960s hit "Sukiyaki". The group's version of "Sukiyaki" peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and was certified gold in 1995. Now's the Time earned gold status in Canada and Japan, and went platinum in Australia.
Their second album, 1997's A Light in the Dark, did not fare as well, but did include the minor hit "I Gave You Everything", which peaked at #67 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
After a brief hiatus, the group--minus Martiz Ware--regrouped and started Pena Brothers Productions. In 2000, they released a third album, For Positive Music--a mix of pop, R&B, hip hop, and Latin music--on their own 4PM label.
In 2002, they released a compilation album of 4P.M.’s favorite cover songs called Sweet Soul, marketed and released in Japan.
In 2008, the group, 4P.M., dismantled. Since then, Ray has been working on re-inventing himself as a solo artist and has been mostly writing, working on his vocals and pursuing re-entrance in the music world.
Ray has recently begun performing live in the New York City area and is working on his Solo CD, which should be ready for release in the spring of 2010.
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