Grayce Evelyn Blake was born on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan to Rev. David A. Blake Sr. and Grace Rogers Blake. She attended Jones School and Ann Arbor High School, where her 1948 senior yearbook noted her nickname as simply "Blake". Grayce Blake was an active member of the Bethel AME Church choir, following in the footsteps of her mother, as well as several high school singing groups. Following graduation, she left for Washington D.C. and became a student at Howard University.