Billy Crawford (born Billy Joe Crawford on May 16, 1982) is an Filipino-American musician and actor with musical influences from R&B, pop, and soul. Crawford became known in Europe and Asia with song titles such as "Trackin'", "When You Think About Me", "Never My Love", "Steamy Nights" and "Bright Lights". Crawford is multilingual, being fluent in two Philippine languages, his native Tagalog as well as Cebuano. His second language is English and he is conversational in French. Crawford not only lived in New York City, USA, but also in Paris for five years and for one year in London. He currently resides in Los Angeles as of 2007. In 2008, he went to Manila to host Pinoy Dream Academy's uberture. He has also hosted the prestigious Miss Earth 2008 held in the Philippines.
Billy Crawford is now a talent of ABS-CBN and is recently seen in one of the mainstay's ABS-CBN Sunday show, ASAP
Crawford was born in Manila, Philippines, to a Filipina mother who is half Spanish named Mayette and an American father named Jack. He has two half-brothers. Crawford was discovered at an early age of 3 years, singing at a bowling alley that his mother visited often. He became a series regular on an afternoon GMA Network television show called That's Entertainment under the name Billy Joe. He attended International Christian Academy in the Philippines until his departure for the US when he was 11 and balanced both his professional acting and academic repertory obligations. He acted in a few movies before he moved to the United States where he started a music career, performing mostly in the United Kingdom and France, as well as in Asia. His pre-career started in Dallas, Texas, USA, where he lived and performed his singing and then moved to New York City. During this time, he legally changed his name to Billy Crawford. He went to a school in New York City which lots of other famous people such as Mandy Moore and Nina Sky attended. In 1996, he danced with Michael Jackson onstage when he was 14 years old as one of Michael's back-up dancers at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards. He dated Mandy Moore for almost a year when he was 17 and she was 15.
Billy Crawford (1999)
Main article: Billy Crawford (album)
He recorded his first album called Billy Crawford (which included hits such as "Urgently In Love" and "Mary Lopez") when he was 15 years old. It went straight into the charts in the Philippines and Europe. His foreign career did not last too long. After a year, everyone began to forget who he was. He took a small break at first and had a few accidents during that time and he was in the hospital. When he was released from hospital, he fainted and fell down the stairs in front of it, and returned to hospital the same day with a broken jaw, which healed successfully. His quiet break lasted more than a year.
Crawford was a success as a singer in France with the first single from his album Ride called "Trackin'". In 2001, it put Crawford at the top of the French charts. "Trackin'" has sold 750,000 copies and was certified platinum; it reached a #1 position on sales charts and was #1 in the club charts. The song also made #1 in the Netherlands, #2 in Belgium, #3 in Switzerland and #20 in Germany. It had a great success in Germany and became #1 on the radio and club chart. His second single "When You Think About Me", was also a huge success, and many other successes followed.
Main article: Ride (Billy Crawford album)
By April 2002, Crawford was back on the scene with his second album, Ride. This was certified gold in France (making 100,000 copies) within just a few weeks and gold in Switzerland. The album went on to achieve platinum status in the French market (making 300,000 copies) and a total of 600,000 copies has been sold to date. As for singles, following the success of the second track, "When You Think About Me" (over 250,000 copies sold in France), Crawford returned in September 2002 with a third single from the Ride album, "You Didn't Expect That", which went directly into the Top 5 and was certified gold in December, having sold more than 250,000 copies in just a few weeks. After this grand success, he returned in 2003 with two versions of a previously unreleased track: the English version of "Someone Like You" and a special Franco-English version for France, "Me Passer de Toi", which stayed in the singles charts for some weeks.
Big City (2004)
Main article: Big City (Billy Crawford album)
The album Big City was produced by some of the best producers in the American music industry such as Kovas (Ghettobeat Production), J Que (from "The Clutch"), Tricky Stewart and Laney Stewart (RedZone Entertainment), The CornaBoyz, Pale Face, Desmond Child and Stargate. He left his old company, V2 records, wanting to expand his career into something bigger.
Big City Tour Live (2005)
Main article: Big City Tour Live (Billy Crawford album)
Big City Tour Live is the live release DVD album from Crawford. The DVD was released in France in 2005. It was directed by Michel Jankielewicz, produced by Yves El-Baze and distributed by UMG (2005) (worldwide) (DVD). The budget of this album was ?150,000 (estimated).
It's Time (2007)
Main article: It's Time (Billy Crawford album)
It's Time is the fourth studio album by Billy Crawford. The album was released in year 2007 with its first single Like That.
Main article: Groove (Billy Crawford album)
'Groove is the fifth studio album by Billy Crawford. The new CD is a re-working of classic hits from the 70?s to the 80?s.
Crawford had major chart success in France and other parts of Europe, but did not repeat this success in the United Kingdom and the United States, although his single "You Didn't Expect That" did make the lower reaches of the UK Top 40, peaking at number 35. He also contributed a remix of the Pok?mon anime theme song for Pok?mon: The First Movie in the series. Crawford also appeared at a popular Filipino American event called "Fiesta Filipina" in 2001 held in San Francisco, California, and American people have become more aware of his name.
Crawford's album Big City was released in 2004 in France and Asia only. The single "Bright Lights" was unable to break into the any Top 10 charts. The second single "Steamy Nights", fared better making Top 40, and was featured on 7 compilations across Europe and was the first single in Germany. Crawford's music video for "Steamy Nights" was shot in Los Angeles, California, and was produced with the same people who worked on the Destiny's Child single "Lose My Breath". Actress Jenna Dewan, who was one of the main characters in the popular 2006 film Step Up, was featured as Crawford's dance partner.
Another song from Candy Store was leaked from the album and received airplay on London radio. Thought to be a duet with Ginuwine, it is featured on the Big City album. After doing the first ever online reality show "the MSN Dance Show", his third single from Big City, "3 Wishes", was canceled by his label. Crawford felt it was time for something new and decided not to re-sign his contract with V2 records. He is writing and producing songs for other artists.
In 2006, Crawford began recording a new album which was expected to be released in 2007. In 2006, he toured during the summer with the L5 in France and in November he was scheduled to return to his home country to shoot a film.
In 2007, he returned to the Philippines for a new dance reality show M.O.V.E for GMA Network. The show searched for six back-up dancers for his Araneta Coliseum concert. After the successful concert, he returned to the United States to work on projects and fulfill several commitments.
Upon his return to the Philippines, Crawford decided to sign with ABS-CBN as an exclusive artist instead of returning to GMA. He became a regular on the Sunday variety show ASAP and later hosted the 2nd season of "Pinoy Dream Academy", a reality search that involves the skill of singing.
Crawford did not receive significant media attention after the Big City Tour 2005, mostly being mentioned in a few magazines for his break-up with Lorie, and began a new relationship with Marie Courchinoux (also known as Maryss from Paris), a French dancer and member of the Beat Freaks whom he met when she auditioned for the Big City tour. At first, Maryss has only referred to Crawford as a good friend and Crawford has admitted that he is too busy to find any relationships at the moment.Billy has also dated Mandy Moore when they were younger. He is exclusively dating Nikki Gil. They met while they hosted the second season of Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA). He is also close friends with the singers from Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake as well as *NSYNC, and Matt Pokora a popular French singer.
Amidst his blooming career in the international music scene, most especially in Europe, he decided to reside in the Philippines. His stay in the Philippines for his Move TV show gave Billy friendly connections with many other Filipino actors and singers such as Rochelle Pangilinan, Ruffa Mae Quinto, Gary Valenciano and Jay-R, as well as with many other famous actors and singers.
Crawford completed in 2008 his studio engineering course at New York University in New York, United States, and he will plan on getting the diploma.
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He will be touring Japan, France, Canada, and America starting March, 2008.
album (summer 2008-France)
Crawford, 26, is scheduled to be back to the Philippines on May 27, 2008, to host ABS-CBN?s most popular shows, including Pinoy Dream Academy, ASAP Mania, and Your Song. His new album (distributed by ABS-CBN and Universal) will be released worldwide by December, and he will perform with Sarah Geronimo in Araneta Coliseum concert later.