Billy Gilman

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Billy Gilman
Birth name William Wendell Gilman III
Born (1988-05-24) May 24, 1988 (age 27)
Westerly, Rhode Island, U.S.
Origin Hope Valley, Richmond, Rhode Island, U.S.
Genres Country
Years active 1999–present
Associated acts Ray Benson
Asleep at the Wheel

William Wendell "Billy" Gilman III (born May 24, 1988) is an American country music artist. In 2000, at the age of 11, he debuted with the single "One Voice," a Top 20 hit on the Billboard country music charts and became the youngest singer to a Top 40 hit on the country music charts. An album of the same name was released later that year on Epic Records, and was certified double platinum in the United States. Following it was a Christmas album Classic Christmas and Dare to Dream, both of which were certified gold. He exited Epic's roster and signed to Image Entertainment in 2005 releasing Everything and More. In 2006, he released the self-titled Billy Gilman. After a number of non-charting releases from 2006 to 2009, followed by a hiatus till 2013, he returned in 2014 with a new single "Say You Will".

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.


On September 10, 2001 Gilman was voted the European's most awarded new country artist, becoming the youngest contender to ever win that prize. He was also given entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest singer to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.[5] He 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. That same year, he appeared in the tribute album Country Goes Raffi, performing the Raffi song "Baby Beluga."

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 featured on Welsh soprano Charlotte Church's album Dream A Dream and 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. After Dare to Dream, Gilman's voice began to noticeably change because of the onset of puberty, forcing him to temporarily withdraw from singing.

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.

His final album for Epic was entitled Music Through Heartsongs: Songs Based on the Poems of Mattie J.T. Stepanek. These songs were based on poems written by Mattie Stepanek, a poet with muscular dystrophy who died in 2004.[1]

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

In April 2012, Gilman collaborated a great number of country artists and released a charity single, "The Choice", for Soles4Souls. This is the last public work Gilman has produced.

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. Gilman announced via Twitter that a 'new single' would be released in late September or early October 2013, but evidence that a self-owned record label even exists is yet to be seen and the promised single has not been released.

In July 2014, Billy Gilman announced via Twitter that he released a new single "Say You Will" which can be downloaded via the iTunes store.

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.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

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

Gilman is a celebrity ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and performs on many of their charity drives.

In a video posted on November 20, 2014, Gilman came out as gay and stated that he had been with his current boyfriend, Chris Meyer, for five months (on day of his "coming out" announcement). Gilman said he was "scared to death" of the announcement and the implications it could have on his career. “It’s difficult for me to make this video, not because I'm ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist or a gay person, but it’s pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this knowing that I'm in a genre and an industry that’s ashamed of me for being me.”[8]


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.[14]

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 Know"
"She Wanted More"
"Honky Tonk Parade"
"I've Changed"
2014 "Say You Will"
2015 "Say You Will (Pop Version)"
"Christmas Time"
"He's Alive"
"Wishing You Were Here"
2016 "Red to Blue"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A^ "One Voice" also peaked at number 23 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.[20]

Other charted songs[edit]

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

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. ^
  6. ^ Gilman, Billy. "Gilman wins AMG Heritage Mainstream Artist of the Year". Artists Music Guild. Retrieved 21 November 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  7. ^ Gilman, Billy. "Gilman hosts the 2014 AMG Heritage Awards". Anna News. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Campbell, Nigel (November 20, 2014). "Country Singer Billy Gilman Comes Out As Gay". Instinct (United States: Instinct Publishing, Inc. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c Gilman&format=ALBUM&go=Search&perPage=50 "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - September 26, 2010: Billy Gilman certified albums" Check |url= value (help). Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Country Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Holiday Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Chart Log UK: Gina G. - GZA". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Country Singles". RPM. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 

External links[edit]