Ray is the seventh of eight children, six sisters and his younger brother Dave. He has been married three times, and has four daughters.
Ray is one the most influential songwriters and performers in the history of rock and roll music. Often cited as a role model by other musicians, he started the Kinks while in art school in London. After signing their first record contract in 1964, The Kinks had an impressive string of hit songs in the mid '60's, while Ray developed his songwriting skills. He continued to pen dozens of classic songs, and several 'themed' album sets, although the Kink's popularity waned in the '70's. But a return to the earlier type of basic rock gave the Kinks a renewed stadium popularity in the 1980's. Ray often said he was leaning toward breaking up the band for a solo career, and eventually did that in 1994. Since then, there has been much talk of a Kinks reunion, though Ray has continued to do solo work and tour on his own. His 'Storyteller' performances in February 1996 led to Vh1 building the 'Storytellers' television series.