|Billy Kay is an American Country songwriter and performer. The most downloaded in Las Vegas | #1 in S Carolina | Now taking Nashville by Storm! Billy is a homeless Veteran, currently living in a shelter in Tennessee. He travels America writing, recording and performing on his now-famous "Abject Poverty Tour".
He donates a share of all royalties and merchandise sales to various charities. He gets to work with top-tier musicians who often donate their skills to the cause - or work for the price of a cheeseburger! For example, his breakout hit "Ready... Set... Gone!"... 100% of the proceeds go to The Shade Tree (a battered women's shelter) for posterity.
Billy also organized 2011's "Country for a Cause" CD, which featured some of the most talented - and award winning - indie musicians in the indie country music scene.
Billy started the accordion at age 5. Knowing it would be impossible to "pick up women" with an accordion, he convinced his mom to let him switch to guitar at 7. And his guitar has been his constant companion for 4 decades.
He went public with his songs 3 years ago, and he's been played all over the world. He was the most downloaded person in Las Vegas. People make videos of themselves dancing to his songs from Asia to Denmark!
Billy writes from the heart. "I write what I see" says Billy. "I lack the ability to make stuff up. So if I see hurt or joy in someone, I extrapolate how they got to that point."
His latest release, "When You Hold Me Tight", was recorded in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Florida. "All my favorite performers" play on it" states Billy. It was a labor of love - and a blast - to record!
Next up is "Southern Girl" being finished in Columbia.
As long as people keep listening, I'll keep writing. And I get to tell people about those less fortunate then themselves in the process. Of all the directions my life could have taken, I consider myself blessed.
Billy Kay grew up on Long Island, New York. He started with the accordion at age 5. He switched to guitar at age 7.
He studied music at Five Towns College and CW Post University. He plays guitar, piano, french horn, bass, harmonica, banjo, harmonica and drums.
He traveled to Los Angeles in the 70's to appear on The Gong Show and settled in the LA area. He won a talent competition in Sacramento and recorded his first original song "Memories of Debbie" in 1974.
He returned to New York, where he recorded with several famous musicians.
In 1999, he was heading back to LA and stopped in Vegas. A week's stay turned in to a summer stay, which turned into a year, which turned into permanent.