Billy Gilman

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Billy Gilman
Birth name William Wendell Gilman III
Born (1988-05-24) May 24, 1988 (age 28)
Westerly, Rhode Island, U.S.
Origin Hope Valley, Richmond, Rhode Island, U.S.
Genres Country, Pop
Years active 1999–present
Associated acts Ray Benson
Asleep at the Wheel

William Wendell "Billy" Gilman III (born May 24, 1988) is an American singer.

Starting as a young country artist, he is best known for his debut single "One Voice", a top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2000. He has released five albums, including three for Epic Nashville. His debut album One Voice was certified double platinum in the United States. His Christmas album Classic Christmas and second studio album Dare to Dream, were both certified gold.

In 2016, Gilman auditioned for season 11 of the US edition of The Voice and competes as part of Team Adam Levine.

Early life[edit]

Gilman was born on May 24, 1988, in Westerly, Rhode Island, he was raised in the village of Hope Valley, Rhode Island, in the town of Richmond (Most of the village is located in Hopkinton, but Gilman lived on the Richmond side).[1] He is the son of Frances "Fran" (Woodmansee) and William Wendell "Bill" Gilman, Jr., who works in maintenance.[2][3][4] Gilman began singing before he was in school, and gave his first public performance at age 7. At the age of 9, Gilman was discovered by Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, who helped him record demos.[1] Gilman was then signed to Epic Records Nashville in 2000.


Billy Gilman performing in Boston (2000)

Gilman's debut single "One Voice", became a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 38. It also became a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2000. 11 years old at the time, he became the youngest artist to ever have a Top 20 single on the country chart.

His debut album, also called One Voice was released on June 20, 2000 on Epic Records, and was certified double platinum in the United States. The album included the title track "One Voice" and the follow-up singles "Oklahoma" and "There's a Hero". The single "Oklahoma" was released on October 9, 2000 making it to the Billboard Hot Country Songs Top 40 peaking at number 33. It also cracked the main Hot 100 chart peaking at number 63.

Gilman was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his debut single "One Voice" and was nominated for Best Country Song for the songwriters, Don Cook and David Malloy.

Gilman released a Christmas album in 2000 titled Classic Christmas, which was certified Gold by the RIAA.

On May 8, 2001 Billy released his second album Dare to Dream,[1] which was also certified gold, although its singles "Elisabeth" and "She's My Girl" both fell short of Top 40 on the Billboard country singles charts peaking at positions 50 and 56 respectively. After Dare to Dream, Gilman's voice began to noticeably change because of the onset of puberty, forcing him to temporarily withdraw from singing.

His final album for Epic was released on April 15, 2003 and was entitled Music Through Heartsongs: Songs Based on the Poems of Mattie J.T. Stepanek. The tracks were based on poems written by the child poet Mattie Stepanek, a poet with muscular dystrophy who died in 2004,[1] almost one year after the album's release.

Gilman signed to Image Entertainment in 2005 for the release of his fifth album, Everything and More. A self-titled album Billy Gilman followed in 2006.

Since the summer of 2013, Gilman has claimed via his Twitter account and a radio interview that he turned down multiple major record deals and has decided to start his own label. In July 2014, Billy Gilman announced via Twitter that he released a new single "Say You Will" on his own One Voice Productions. The release was downloadable via the iTunes store.

The Voice[edit]

In 2016, Gilman auditioned for season 11 of the US edition of The Voice. The emotional introduction piece showed him with his supportive parents clearly introducing him as a child star and the fact that he had come out as gay in 2014. He was shown declaring to The Voice host Carson Daly backstage: "I had to come to grips with being gay... I took a long time to rebuild vocally, but it was coming back, and then coming to grips with who I was personally, I also came to grips with who I was as a singer. You know, I love my country music roots, but deep down, I really always wanted to be a pop singer. It’s actually nerve-racking to stand here and just be 100 percent me. There’s only one shot to reinvent myself."[5]

In the blind audition broadcast on September 20, 2016, Gilman sang Adele's song "When We Were Young". Gilman impressed all four judges, Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton with his performance. Adam Levine was the first to turn his chair around soon after Gilman started singing, with Miley Cyrus following shortly thereafter. Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys turned around at the very end of the performance. Once Gilman introduced himself to the coaches, both Shelton and Cyrus said they recognized him from his childhood career with Shelton mentioning Gilman's hit "One Voice". Shelton added: "When I was making my first album, that's when 'One Voice' came out. It's crazy, Billy. But you always wonder whatever happened to somebody, you know? Now you've found your sound and where you belong musically." And when Cyrus recalled Gilman's music video on "One Voice", Gilman mentioned that he had been an opening act to Cyrus' father Billy Ray Cyrus early on. Adam Levine added: "So rarely do I hear everything happening on the stage. That intangible quality that you possess, is exactly what embodies a person that can win this show. You really could be the guy. And I'm not sitting down until you joined my team". Gilman chose to continue the competition as part of Team Adam Levine.[6]

In the Battle round, Levine matched Gilman with teammate Andrew DeMuro performing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and opted for Gilman to stay for the Knockouts round.

Performances on The Voice[edit]

     – Studio version of performance reached the top 10 on iTunes
Show Order Song Original Artist Result
Blind Audition 2.6 "When We Were Young" Adele All judges, Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton turned
Billy joined Adam Levine's Team
Battle Rounds (Top 48) 7.5 "Man in the Mirror"
(vs. Andrew DeMuro)
Michael Jackson Saved by Coach

|- ! scope="row" | Knockout Rounds (Top 48) | . | "[[Fight_Song_(Rachel_Platten_song}} ]]"
(vs. Ponciano Seoane) | Rachel Platten | Saved by Coach

In popular culture[edit]

In 2000, Gilman appeared on the tribute album Country Goes Raffi, performing the Raffi song "Baby Beluga." In 2000, he also appeared on the TV special 'Twas the Night Before Christmas singing seasonal songs.

On September 7 and September 10, 2001, Gilman performed the song "Ben" at Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special in New York which was later televised. It was originally sung by Michael Jackson in 1972.

Gilman was also featured on Welsh soprano Charlotte Church's album Dream A Dream.

In 2002, Gilman took part in a reading for the then Broadway-bound musical A Tale of Two Cities, in which he played 'The Young Man', who is Madame DeFarge's brother.

In 2003, he appeared on Our Country, a short documentary and released a promotional documentary Billy Gilman: The Making of Everything and More in 2005.

Charities and activism[edit]

Gilman is a celebrity ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and performs on many of their charity drives. The first time he appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon was in September 2003, when he co-hosted the show. He also took part in 2004 and 2005 in the telethon, co-hosted the show in both 2007 and 2008 and performed again during the telethon in 2009.

In April 2012, Gilman collaborated with a great number of country artists and released a charity single, "The Choice", for Soles4Souls, a shoe charity with proceeds going for purchase of shoes for needy children worldwide.[7] In addition for Gilman as spokesman for the charity song and lead singer on it, 18 top country singers also took part in support. The track features vocals from Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Craig Morgan, Josh Turner, Kenny Rogers, LeAnn Rimes, Steve Holy, Kellie Pickler, Keith Urban, Wynonna Judd, Rodney Atkins, Amy Grant, Montgomery Gentry, Diamond Rio, Vince Gill, Richie McDonald, Ronnie Milsap and Randy Travis.[8]

Gilman was the host of the 2014 Artists Music Guild's AMG Heritage Awards. His co-host for the event was Mallory Lewis and the puppet Lamb Chop. Gilman also took home the statue for the 2014 AMG Heritage Mainstream Artist of the Year.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Gilman's parents live in Hope Valley, Rhode Island. He also has a younger brother, Colin.

In a video posted on November 20, 2014, Gilman came out as gay.[11] He released his video titled "My Story by Billy Gilman" on One Voice Productions YouTube page only hours after another country singer Ty Herndon came out. Gilman said in the video that although he was gay for many years and had been in a relationship for many months, he thought this was a very appropriate time to come out to his fans.[12] He is in a relationship with Christopher Meyer, an IT specialist.[13][14][15] He was also interviewed on Entertainment Tonight about his coming out on September 21, 2014, just one day after Ty Herndon had appeared on the same program coming out.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US Country
US Indie
One Voice[A] 2 22
Dare to Dream
  • Release date: May 8, 2001
  • Label: Epic Nashville
6 45
Music Through Heartsongs
  • Release date: April 15, 2003
  • Label: Epic Nashville
15 109
Everything and More 39 17
Billy Gilman
  • Release date: September 6, 2006
  • Label: Image Entertainment
55 29
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A^ One Voice also peaked at number 6 on the RPM Country Albums chart in Canada.[21]

Christmas album[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US Country
US Holiday
Classic Christmas
  • Release date: October 17, 2000
  • Label: Epic Nashville
4 42 5


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country
2000 "One Voice"[A] 20 38 29 84 One Voice
"Oklahoma" 33 63
2001 "There's a Hero"
"She's My Girl" 50 Dare to Dream
"Elisabeth" 56
2005 "Everything and More" Everything and More
"Hey, Little Suzie (The Cause of All That)"
2006 "Gonna Find Love" Billy Gilman
"Southern Star"
"I'll Be Home For Christmas" Non-album song
2007 "Crying"
2008 "When You Come Home"
2009 "I've Changed"
2012 "The Choice"
(Shoes4Souls - Billy Gilman & Friends)
Charity song
Billy Gilman and 18 Top Country Artists
2014 "Say You Will" Non-album song
2015 "Say You Will (Pop Version)"
2016 "Red to Blue"
"Girl It's You"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A^ "One Voice" also peaked at number 23 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.[27]
Other non-album releases
  • 2009: "I Know"
  • 2009: "She Wanted More"
  • 2009: "Honky Tonk Parade"
  • 2015: "Christmas Time"
  • 2015: "He's Alive"
  • 2015: "Wishing You Were Here"
  • 2015: "Falling"
  • 2015: "Summertime"

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
2000 "Warm and Fuzzy" 50 Classic Christmas

Releases from The Voice[edit]

Year Single Peak positions
2016 "When We Were Young"  –

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2000 "One Voice" Trey Fanjoy
"Warm and Fuzzy" David McClister
2001 "There's a Hero" Brent Hedgecock
"She's My Girl"
"Elisabeth" Shaun Silva
2003 "I Am (Shades of Life)"
2005 "Everything and More" Alec Asten
"Hey, Little Suzie (The Cause of All That)"
2012 "The Choice" (Billy Gilman & Friends) Sean Thomas
2015 "Say You Will (Pop Version)" Alec Asten


  1. ^ a b c d Huey, Steve. "Billy Gilman biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  2. ^ "Billy Gilman: Wonder Boy (2001)". Country Weekly. 
  3. ^ "William W. Gilman Sr.". The Westerly Sun. 
  4. ^ "Virginia W. 'Ginger' Woodmansee". The Westerly Sun. 
  5. ^ Openly Gay Former Country Child Star Billy Gilman Seeks Another Chance on 'The Voice'
  6. ^ The Boot: Billy Gilman Covers Adele, Joins Team Adam in ‘The Voice’ Auditions
  7. ^ Soles4Souls Official website
  8. ^ YouTube channel of Soles4Souls
  9. ^ Gilman, Billy. "Gilman wins AMG Heritage Mainstream Artist of the Year". Artists Music Guild. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Gilman, Billy. "Gilman hosts the 2014 AMG Heritage Awards". Anna News. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Campbell, Nigel (November 20, 2014). "Country Singer Billy Gilman Comes Out As Gay". Instinct. United States: Instinct Publishing, Inc. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ One Voice Productions YouTube page: My Story by Billy Gilman
  13. ^ Grady, James (November 6, 2015). "Billy Gilman: One Year Later - The challenges of coming out country". O&AN - Out and About Nashville. United States. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  14. ^ Emily Longeretta on Billy Gilman Reintroduced On ‘The Voice’ — 5 Things To Know About Former Child Star
  15. ^ Hernandez, Greg (August 4, 2015). "Country singer Billy Gilman tells GSN coming out publicly was not about selling records". Gay Star News. United States. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b c "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - September 26, 2010: Billy Gilman certified albums". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Country Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Holiday Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  23. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Chart Log UK: Gina G. - GZA". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Country Singles". RPM. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 

External links[edit]