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The average seventeen year old doest have to think about the challenges of a budding musical career. Billy Gilman isn't the average anything, though. In fact, he's endured several challenges many much older than he could't have. This Rhode Island native hit the country charts back in May of 2000 with his debut single "One Voice". This broke the record for youngest soloist ever to appear on Billboard's country charts, a record held by Brenda Lee's since 1957. With this musical success came the demands of the country lifestyle on the road. The physical strains put on his health were pretty significant. He says, "I was doing so much, 90 plus concerts a year, television appearances, recording in the studio, and tons of interviews. I was in constant motion and because of my voice change, "I went from doing all of that to doing absolutely nothing at all. It was't as if I made the decision to leave my music career to go back to being a "normal.". Being in music and singing is normal for me. I've been singing since I was two years old. It was my life and this was pretty traumatizing for me."

By the summer of 2002 Billy was having to make some serious decisions about the balance between his career and his health. He was having to cancel concerts because he was ordered by doctors to take a complete rest for his voice. This gave critics a chance to heap doubt on Billy's chances for a long term musical career. He says, "My immediate thought was 'why so soon?' I was just learning how to use my voice, getting it all down and feeling comfortable with my career and being in the spotlight and doing what I needed to do. I went to Vanderbilt Voice Clinic in Nashville, one of the world's best voice centers, and they told me no singing, no talking They may have well have just said, 'stop breathing.'"

Billy followed doctors's orders and now has a different feeling about his time away from the country stage. "I look back now over those two years and I'm grateful for the time and wisdom I gained. It was a good time to rest, regroup, think of the future and make a decision as to my long term commitments. Just as most kids at my age are getting their lives started, I was forced to face a possible career change! Being on vocal rest gave me the time to search my heart and my priorities and make a full commitment to my music and getting back to it."

Billy's latest CD, "Everything and More", is a good example of the good that can happen when a singer's voice reaches the maturity of the songs he sings. One of the songs from this CD. "I'm Not Me Anymore", explains how this change helped him to where he is now. About this CD Billy says, "The music is fun and includes all aspects of the country genre (including Bluegrass, Pop, Country Rock, and traditional ballads) and every song is about a new aspect in my life. One song is about the trying times that I went through with my voice change and my fear that I may never sing again.  Another song, "I'm Not Me Anymore," is about how I've grown and changed, it's my favorite.  This time, I had a say in what I wanted to record and I'm so proud of this project because it's a reflection of who I am today as a young adult. I think the lyrics of each and every song create a picture--just as if you were at the movies. I really hope everyone enjoys my personal photo album!"

For more information about Billy's latest check out his website at: