Jay Kay was born in
Greater Manchester, on 30 December 1969. His mother,
 is a former cabaret singer and television personality. His biological father is Luís Saraiva, a
Portuguese former guitarist,
 whom he did not meet until 2001. Kay's identical twin, David, died some weeks after they were born.
 Kay said in a 2010 interview with
The Daily Telegraph that his mother raised him largely alone, which gave him "an itinerant childhood; half of it living in rural Suffolk and rural
 A 1997 article in the
Lancashire Evening Telegraph states that Kay "moved with his mother and step-father Mervyn Kay to Manchester as a youngster".
 He attended
Oakham School in
Kay wearing a headdress during a concert
Jamiroquai in 1992. Band members include
Toby Smith (keyboards),
Stuart Zender (bass), Nick Van Gelder (drums, 1992–1993), Derrick McKenzie (drums 1994–present) and Wallis Buchanan (
 After the success of Jamiroquai's first single,
When You Gonna Learn, a US$1.9 million, eight-album deal was signed with
Sony Music Entertainment. The band's first album was
Emergency on Planet Earth. The relationship with Sony ended in 2007.
 The band has sold more than 26 million albums worldwide.
 Kay is occasionally referred to as 'Jamiroquai', due to the misconception that the band is actually a solo artist.
Kay is well known for his array of elaborate hats and headgear. Professional appearances for concerts, interviews and the like have prompted descriptions of Kay as "the mad hatter" for his love of headgear.
 In 2005 it was announced that Kay, often referred to as "the cat in the hat", was launching a range of distinctive clothing, including his trademark hats, on his new "Quai" label.
 The Indian Country Media Network has criticised him for wearing sacred regalia of the
Kay appeared in an episode of the
The Naked Chef alongside chef
Jamie Oliver. He has also performed on the series
Strictly Come Dancing singing "
Canned Heat". He also appeared four times in the
BBC car show
Top Gear. The first appearance was in series 1, episode 2, where he set a lap time of 1:48.1 for the show's "Star in a reasonably priced car",
 becoming (and remaining) the person with the fastest lap time for the rest of the first series and most of the next series. His second appearance was in series 3, episode 4, where Kay drove his
Lamborghini Miura with
Richard Hammond as a passenger. The third appearance was in series 11, episode 6, where he beat the top time held by
Simon Cowell by one-tenth of a second.
 He succeeded with a lap time of 1:45.8. Kay won Top Gear's "
John Sergeant Award" for the best dance after learning that his time on the
Top Gear test track was the fastest lap time in 2008.
The day before Jamiroquai performed their new single, "
White Knuckle Ride", on
The X Factor in October 2010, Kay was quoted by
The Sun talking about
Cheryl Cole and
Dannii Minogue, two of the show's judges: "What are they going to tell me about fucking music? When have you ever done anything? You're useless. The pair of you. I mean, you look great, and I'd like to fucking shag you, but that's all." During his performance on the show, Cole and Minogue talked continuously and refused to applaud at the end or stand up.