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Billy Gilman talks new single, Grand Ole Opry and charity work Special

Posted Aug 26, 2014 by Markos Papadatos
Country singer Billy Gilman opened up about his comeback single "Say You Will," his recent appearance on the Grand Ole Opry and his charity work.
Country singer Billy Gilman
Country singer Billy Gilman
Lost in Translation
A multi-platinum-selling and Grammy-nominated artist, Gilman co-wrote "Say You Will," with Dan Murph and Philip Douglas. This marks his first solo single Gilman has released since 2008. "I am really excited about it. It's the first time that I have had the opportunity to release a solo song that was co-written and co-produced by me. I am very happy with the song," he said.
On August 22, he played on the hallowed Grand Ole Opry stage. "It was amazing," he exclaimed. "This was the first time that I was nervous, since I was singing my own song. I felt like a chef. If you cook your own food, and you put your heart and soul in it, and people don't like it, you are going to be offended. That was the first time, I stepped on a stage like that and sang my song, so it was pretty nerve-wrecking, but the audience loved it and it was a great experience."
In 2012, he recruited 18 fellow country stars such as Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Josh Turner, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Kenny Rogers and others, and they collaborated with him on his charity single "The Choice," which he has co-written with Dan Murph and Philip Douglas. They donated all of its proceeds to Soles4Souls, which helped to bring attention to the plight of children, who are in desperate need of shoes. "It is a charity that in this day and age sadly never ends. The mission is still on, but it is going well," he said.
A former teen sensation, Gilman burst in the music scene in 2000, thanks to his hit single "One Voice," which garnered him a Grammy nomination for "Best Male Country Vocal Performance." At only 11 years old, he was the youngest singer to land on the Top 40 country charts and his debut album was certiļ¬ed double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). He made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest singer to ever reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts.
Ever since, Gilman has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, where five million of those albums were sold before he was 16 years old. He has performed on every major television such as the Today Show and Oprah. "I have been very fortunate," he admitted.
The Rhoda Island native shared that he is working on his music video for the song, and he is holding a casting call for that, and he has gotten a great response. "We are going to start shooting the music video and I am excited about that. It should be a pretty neat video," he said. "I got back together with my old band leader and we are going to start doing shows and concerts with the band."
Aside from his music, Gilman works tirelessly on his philanthropic endeavors and charitable work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). He has raised over $2.2 million through his concerts and appearances. "I really dedicated 11 years of my life to that association, and I will continue to always be of service to them," he said. "It's a wonderful organization, and it is something bigger than us."
For his tireless work with the MDA, Gilman received the honorable Director's Award. "I was honored by that in New York at a banquet at the Regency Hotel. I was very touched," he said.
In addition, Gilman has worked with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, at the request of Marlo Thomas, and he has hosted the national broadcast of the annual Telethon with Jerry Lewis for the past seven years. "My third single, 'There's a Hero,' was their theme song for a little bit. That's a wonderful organization as well. Marlo Thomas is a pioneer," he said.
Gilman listed Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert as his dream female duet choices. "I love Kacey and I think she is one of the best country singers to come around. I would love to do a rocking duet with Miranda too," he said.
For more information on country singer Billy Gilman, visit his official website and his Facebook page.