Ray Kelly (singer)

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Ray Kelly
Pastor Ray Kelly 5963-Michelides.jpg
Kelly singing at a charity event in Vienna, 2017
Raymond Kelly

April 1953 (age 66)
OccupationCatholic priest
Known forSinging Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" at a wedding in April 2014

Father Raymond Kelly (born April 1953) is an Irish Catholic priest best known for his interpretation of popular songs. He is the priest of St. Brigid′s & St. Mary′s parish at Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland, and a member of Saint Patrick’s Society for the Foreign Missions.

Music career[edit]

Kelly became famous in 2014 after a video of him singing Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" while officiating at a couple's wedding became a YouTube sensation. The words were modified to suit the occasion by 10-year-old bridesmaid Lucy Pitts O'Connor. By 2018, it had received over 61 million hits.[1]

In December 2014 Universal Music released a 10-track album Where I Belong of Kelly singing Celtic-inspired arrangements.[2] The album was recorded during summer 2014 in a studio created for the purpose in Kelly's house, so that the recording schedule would not interfere with his duties as a priest. In December 2015 Kelly was a guest on the BBC Radio 4 programme Midweek.[3]

In 2018 Kelly auditioned for the 12th series of Britain's Got Talent, singing "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.[4][5] he made it to the liveshows but in semifinal 5 he was eliminated. After the voting stats came out it was revealed that Kelly missed out on a place in the top 3 after he came 4th in the public voting.



  • Where I Belong (2014)
  • An Irish Christmas Blessing (2015)


  1. ^ invitationlovejesus (7 April 2014). "Original Big surprise for Bride and Groom...Chris and Leah Wedding 5 April 2014". Retrieved 29 May 2018 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ The Huffington Post
  3. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Midweek". Bbc.co.uk. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  4. ^ "BGT priest has already had a record deal and TWO albums". Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  5. ^ Britain's Got Talent (21 April 2018). "Father Ray Kelly takes us to church with AMAZING version of 'Everybody Hurts' - Auditions - BGT 2018". Retrieved 29 May 2018 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]