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Pinoy Celebrity : Billy Crawford

Pinoy Celebrity: Billy Crawford
Billy Crawford is, indeed, one of the Filipino prides in the entertainment industry. He began as a child performer in the early 90s until he went to the U.S., where he continued honing his talents in singing until he became a popular music icon in Europe, especially in France and Germany. Today, Crawford is a popular fixture in Philippine showbiz, where his mettle in hosting, singing and dancing made him one of the top celebrities of the country.

William Ledesma Crawford was born May 16, 1982, in Manila, Philippines. His mother, Mayette, is a Filipina, while his father, Jack Crawford is an American.

Crawford’s career as an entertainer began in earnest when he was discovered at the 3 years while he was singing at a bowling alley where his mother was a frequent visitor. He eventually became a regular performer at That's Entertainment in GMA with the stage name Billy Joe, as well as appeared in several movies before his family moved to the U.S., where he continued his music career, singing in Dallas and later in New York City.  

In the U.S., he legally changed his name to Billy Crawford. At the age of 14, Crawford was very lucky to have danced with Michael Jackson onstage after he served as the pop king’s back up dancer during the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.

In 1999, Crawford launched his first, self-titled album. It became a hit in Europe and in the Philippines. In 2001, Crawford solidified his popularity in France with the hit single “Trackin,” from the album Ride. The single hit number one in the French charts and sold more than 700,000 copies. It also garnered considerable success in other European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands. Ride meanwhile got certified platinum, selling over 700,000 copies.

Nevertheless, Crawford’s fame failed to launch him in the crucially-significant U.K. and U.S market.

His fourth album, Big City was released in 2004 in France and Asia only. While the first single "Bright Lights" failed to make it into the Top 10 charts, the second single meanwhile, "Steamy Nights," made it into Top 40.

In 2007, Crawford relaunched his career in the Philippines to topbill the reality dance search, M.O.V.E in GMA Network, which aimed to look for six back-up dancers for his Araneta Coliseum concert, after which he returned to the U.S. to fulfill several commitments.

He returned to the Philippines in 2008, where he signed as an exclusive contract artist of ABS-CBN, where he became a regular host and performer on the Sunday variety show, ASAP, and landed the hosting stint in the 2nd season of reality singing search, Pinoy Dream Academy.

Since 2010, he has been hosting Pilipinas Got Talent, together with Luis Manzano, earning them the Best Talent Search Program Hosts at the 24th PMPC Star Awards for TV.


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