Ray Kelly (singer)

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Ray Kelly

Pastor Ray Kelly 5963-Michelides.jpg
Father Kelly singing at a charity event in Vienna on 2017
ChurchCatholic Church
Personal details
Raymond Kelly

(1953-04-25) 25 April 1953 (age 69)
DenominationRoman Catholic

Raymond Kelly, S.P.S. (born 25 April 1953) is an Irish Catholic priest 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.

Early life and priesthood[edit]

Kelly was born on 25 April 1953 in Tyrrellspass, County Westmeath, and began singing when he was young. In 1989, he was ordained as a priest and began his vocation.

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 2020, it had received more than 75 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]

Television appearances[edit]

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 live shows but he was eliminated in semifinal 5. He came fourth in the public voting.

In 2020, he took part in the fourth season of the Irish edition of Dancing with the Stars. He and his professional partner, Kylee Vincent, were eliminated on 8 March 2020.[6]



  • 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.
  6. ^ O'Loughlin, Mikie (8 March 2020). "Fr Ray Kelly eliminated from Dancing with the Stars after weeks at the bottom of table". RSVP. Retrieved 8 March 2020.

External links[edit]