Fourteen years ago, 11-year-old Billy Gilman climbed the charts with his debut single, “One Voice.” The song held the top spot for seven consecutive weeks and was the title track for his album (which went on to be certified double platinum). The Guinness Book of World Records lists Billy as the youngest singer to ever reach #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. “One voice, one simple word Hearts know what to say One dream can change the world But keep believing ‘Til you find your way…”
Fast forward to this year, a decade and a half later, and he might have the ‘go-to’ proposal song with his latest single, “Say You Will.” The single has a timeless, classic quality to it. The 26-year-old once again brings passionate vocals to meaningful lyrics. Billy co-wrote the song with Dan Murph and Philip Douglas, his first solo release in six years.
In 2012, the songwriting trio collaborated on “The Choice“, a song for Soles4Souls. The global not-for-profit organization brings attention to the plight of children in desperate need of shoes. Billy brought together a few of his country music friends to record the song (including Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Josh Turner, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, and Kenny Rogers). All the proceeds went to Soles4Souls.
What else has the singer been working on? Besides more charity work (St. Jude, Muscular Dystrophy Association), the Rhode Island native has been learning about his craft.
“It took me a good while to figure out exactly who I was, musically speaking. As a little kid, sometimes I was just told what to sing. But now I have enjoyed coming into my own and discovering what it really is that I want to sing. I think that my fans will be pleasantly surprised with what they hear.”