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

William Wendell Gilman III (born May 24, 1988), known as Billy Gilman, is an American singer. Starting as a young country artist, he is 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. In 2016, Gilman auditioned for season 11 of the US edition of The Voice and competes as part of Team Adam Levine. He was one of the 4 finalists and finished runner-up for the season.

Early life[edit]

Gilman was born on May 24, 1988, in Westerly, Rhode Island. He was raised in Hope Valley, Rhode Island, in the town of Richmond. [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.[citation needed]


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.[5] It also became a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2000.[6] 11 years old at the time, he became the youngest artist to ever have a Top 40 single on the country chart.[7][8]

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.[9] 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.[5]

Gilman was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his debut single "One Voice"[7] and was nominated for Best Country Song for the songwriters, Don Cook and David Malloy.[10]

Gilman released a Christmas album in 2000 titled Classic Christmas which went gold,[11] followed on May 8, 2001 by his second album Dare to Dream,[1] which was 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.[6] After Dare to Dream, Gilman's voice began to noticeably change because of the onset of puberty, forcing him temporarily to withdraw from singing.[9][12]

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.[13] A self-titled album Billy Gilman followed in 2006.[14]

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."[15]

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". Gilman chose to continue the competition as part of Team Adam Levine.[16]

In the Battle round, Levine matched Gilman with teammate Andrew DeMuro both performing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and opted for Gilman to stay for the Knockouts round[17] where he confronted teammate Ponciano Seoane singing "Fight Song". Levine opted to pick him for the Live Rounds.[18] In the inaugural Live Playoffs broadcast, he sang "Crying" from Roy Orbison and was one of two contestants from Team Adam to be saved by the public vote[19] the other being his teammate Josh Gallagher. Based on this vote, he moved to the Top 12 live stage of the competition.[20]

In the first live show, he sang Queen's "The Show Must Go On".[21] followed in week 2 of live shows by "All I Ask" from Adele[22] and in week 3 by "Anyway" from Martina McBride all three with a standing ovation from the public and from all four judges.[23] "Anyway" reached #4 on iTunes allowing Gilman the advantage of multiplying the vote (sales) totals he got on the iTunes chart published immediateley after the broadcast by five.[24] In the semi-final, he performed "I Surrender" from Celine Dion, again with standing ovation from all four judges.[25] For a second week in a row, Gilman's performance, this time for "I Surrender" featured at #1 on iTunes allowing him to benefit from the 5 times multipliers vote totals again.[26] On December 6, 2016, Gilman qualified to the final of season 11 of The Voice.[27]

In the Final 4 broadcast on December 12, 2016, Gilman performed "My Way", a cover of Frank Sinatra, then performed "Bye Bye Love" from The Everly Brothers as a duet with his coach / mentor Adam Levine, to finish with his original, "Because of Me", which was originally going to be a Maroon 5 track, but Levine decided it would be an appropriate winner's song for Gilman.[28]

Gilman came in second on The Voice, behind Sundance Head.

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
Knockout Rounds (Top 32) 12.2 "Fight Song"
(vs. Ponciano Seoane)
Rachel Platten Saved by coach. Qualified to the live shows
Live Playoffs (Top 20) 15.20 "Crying" Roy Orbison Saved by public vote. Qualified to Top 12
Live Show (Top 12) 16.5 "The Show Must Go On" Queen Saved by public vote. Qualified to Top 11.
Live Show (Top 11) 18.6 "All I Ask" Adele Saved by public vote. Qualified to Top 10.
Live Show (Top 10) 20.1 "Anyway"[24] Martina McBride Saved by public vote. Qualified to Top 8 (Semi-final).
Live Show
(Top 8 - Semi-final)
22.8 "I Surrender"[26] Celine Dion Saved by public vote. Qualified to Top 4 (Final).
Live Show
(Top 4 - Final)
24.1 "My Way" Frank Sinatra
24.5 "Bye Bye Love"
(duet with coach Adam Levine)
The Everly Brothers
24.11 "Because of Me" Billy Gilman
Non Competition Performances
Order Collaborator(s) Song Original Artist
17.1 Adam Levine, Brendan Fletcher, and Josh Gallagher "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield
22.3 Christian Cuevas "Unsteady" X Ambassadors
25.4 Billy Gilman with Christian Cuevas, Ali Caldwell, Courtney Harrell and Sa'Rayah "Proud Mary" Creedence Clearwater Revival
25.9 Billy Gilman with Kelly Clarkson "It's Quiet Uptown" Hamilton musical

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, and has made many appearances in their drives and co-hosting or performing in their charity drives ever since.[29]

In April 2012, Gilman collaborated with other 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.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32][33]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2000, Gilman appeared on the tribute album Country Goes Raffi, performing the Raffi song "Baby Beluga".[34] In 2000, he also appeared on the TV special 'Twas the Night Before Christmas singing seasonal songs.[35]

On September 7 and September 10, 2001, Gilman performed the song "Ben" at Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration in New York which was later televised. It was originally sung by Michael Jackson in 1972.[36]

Gilman was also on Welsh soprano Charlotte Church's album Dream a Dream singing the title track "Dream a Dream" as a featured vocalist with her. The song is for voice and orchestra based on Fauré's Pavane Op. 50 ("Elysium").[37]

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.[38]

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 on Image Entertainment.[39]

Personal life[edit]

Gilman originated from Hope Valley, Rhode Island where he lived with his parents as a young singer.[40]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.[41]

In a video posted on November 20, 2014, Gilman came out as gay.[42] He released his video titled "My Story by Billy Gilman" on One Voice Productions YouTube page only hours after another country singer Ty Herndon had come out. Gilman said in the video that Herndon's public acknowledgement inspired him to do the same.[43]


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.[49]

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"
2007 "Crying" N/A
2008 "When You Come Home"
2009 "I've Changed"
2012 "The Choice"
(Shoes4Souls - Billy Gilman & Friends)
2014 "Say You Will"
2015 "Say You Will" (Pop Version)
2016 "Red to Blue"
"Girl It's You"
"Because of Me"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A^ "One Voice" also peaked at number 23 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.[55]
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"

Christmas singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
2000 "Warm and Fuzzy" 50 Classic Christmas
2006 "I'll Be Home For Christmas" N/A

Releases from The Voice[edit]

Year Single Peak positions
US Rock
Hot Country Songs
Country Digital Song Sales
2016 "When We Were Young"
"Man in the Mirror"
(with Andrew DeMuro)
"Fight Song"
"The Show Must Go On" 41[56]
"All I Ask"
"Anyway" 29[57] 4[58]
"I Surrender"
"My Way"
"Bye Bye Love"
(with Adam Levine)

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
2016 "Because of Me"


  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. ^ a b Billboard - Hot 100 - Billy Gilman chart history
  6. ^ a b Billboard - Hot Country Songs - Billy Gilman
  7. ^ a b Billy Gilman - Team Adam page
  8. ^ Billy Gilman Reintroduced On ‘The Voice’ — 5 Things To Know About Former Child Star
  9. ^ a b Gil Kaufman (SEptember 21, 2016). "Former Child Star Billy Gilman's Emotional Return on 'The Voice' Sparks Adam Levine/Miley Cyrus Bidding War". Bill board. Retrieved November 17, 2016.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ 43rd Annual Grammy Awards Nominees
  11. ^ Country Artists - Billy Gilman
  12. ^ Jessica Molinari (SEptember 20, 2016). "Grammy Nominee Billy Gilman Auditions For 'The Voice' Season 11 And Proves That He's Ready For A Comeback". Retrieved November 17, 2016.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Everything and More - Billy Gilman". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  14. ^ Collar, Mat. "Billy Gilman - Billy Gilman". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ Openly Gay Former Country Child Star Billy Gilman Seeks Another Chance on 'The Voice'
  16. ^ The Boot: Billy Gilman Covers Adele, Joins Team Adam in ‘The Voice’ Auditions
  17. ^ Annie Reuter (October 11, 2016). "Billy Gilman Wins 'The Voice' Battle With 'Man in the Mirror'". Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  18. ^ Annie Reuter (October 26, 2016). "Billy Gilman Knocks Out 'The Voice' Judges With 'Fight Song'". Taste of Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  19. ^ Annie Reuter (November 8, 2016). "Billy Gilman's Cover of 'Crying' Garners Him Top 12 Spot on 'The Voice'". Taste of Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  20. ^ Maria Sciullo (November 7, 2016). "Cambria County native Josh Gallagher advances on 'The Voice'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  21. ^ Billy Dukes (November 15, 2016). "Billy Gilman's Queen Cover Brings 'The Voice' Judges to Their Feet". Taste of Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  22. ^ Perri O. Blumberg (November 22, 2016). "Billy Gilman's Vulnerable Adele Cover on 'The Voice' Singer scales back for poignant rendition of "All I Ask"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 30, 2016.  line feed character in |title= at position 53 (help)
  23. ^ Allison Sadlier (November 29, 2016). "The Voice: Billy Gilman wows with 'Anyway' cover, Martina McBride responds". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  24. ^ a b Michael Slezak (November 29, 2016). "The Voice Predictions: Who's at Risk on Top 10 Results Night?". TVLine. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  25. ^ Cillea Houghton (December 5, 2016). "Billy Gilman Wows With Celine Dion's 'I Surrender' on 'The Voice'". Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  26. ^ a b Brian Cantor (December 6, 2016). "The Voice's Billy Gilman, Sundance Head, Josh Gallagher and Christian Cuevas win Top 10 iTunes Chart Bonuses". HeadlinePlanet. Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  27. ^ Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya (December 6, 2016). "'The Voice': Season 11's Final Four Revealed". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  28. ^ Alyssa Norwin (December 12, 2016). "'The Voice' Recap: Top 4 Sing Their Hearts Out To Be Named Season 11 Winner". Hollywood Life. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  29. ^ The Quest: Billy Gilman Sings from the Heart (September 1, 2005)
  30. ^ Soles4Souls Official website
  31. ^ YouTube channel of Soles4Souls
  32. ^ Gilman, Billy. "Gilman wins AMG Heritage Mainstream Artist of the Year". Artists Music Guild. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  33. ^ Gilman, Billy. "Gilman hosts the 2014 AMG Heritage Awards". Anna News. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  34. ^ [ RaffiNews: Country Goes Raffi (2001)
  35. ^ Jay Bobbin (December 24, 2000). "The Night Before Christmas - Disney Parks Host Holiday Celebrations". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  36. ^ Stephen L. Betts (November 21, 2014). "Flashback: Billy Gilman Performs Pitch-Perfect Cover of Michael Jackson's 'Ben'". Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  37. ^ AllMusic Review: Charlotte Church - Dream a Dream
  38. ^ Playbill: Fans Offered a Chance to See NYC Industry Reading of A Tale of Two Cities Musical
  39. ^ [Go Local Prov: Rhode Island's Billy Gilman on NBC’s The Voice Tonight]
  40. ^ Patinkin, Mark (August 24, 2014). "For former child star Billy Gilman, intermission is over". Providence Journal. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  41. ^ Sophie Schillaci (November 21, 2014). "Billy Gilman Talks Coming Out in Country Music, Support from LeAnn Rimes and Lucy Hale". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  42. ^ Campbell, Nigel (November 20, 2014). "Country Singer Billy Gilman Comes Out As Gay". Instinct. United States: Instinct Publishing, Inc. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  43. ^ One Voice Productions YouTube page: My Story by Billy Gilman
  44. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  45. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  46. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  47. ^ a b c "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - September 26, 2010: Billy Gilman certified albums". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  48. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on March 24, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  49. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Country Albums/CDs". RPM. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  50. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Holiday Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  51. ^ a b "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  52. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  53. ^ "Billy Gilman Album & Song Chart History - Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  54. ^ "Chart Log UK: Gina G. - GZA". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  55. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Country Singles". RPM. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  56. ^ "Hot Rock Songs : Dec 03, 2016". Billboard. December 3, 2016. 
  57. ^ Billboard Country Songs chart December 17, 2016)
  58. ^ Billboard Country Digital Song Sales (December 17, 2016)

External links[edit]