Billy Dean Biography

William Harold Dean Jnr., 2 April 1962, Quincy, Florida, USA. Dean was raised in a farming community and played in his father’s part-time country band. He accumulated many influences, including James Taylor and Dan Fogelberg, and he sang ‘My Way’ at his graduation ceremony. He won the Wrangler Star Search competition and settled in Nashville where he was given a publishing contract by former pop star Jimmy Gilmer. A recording contract with Liberty Records followed. Dean enjoyed country Top 5 hits in 1990 with ‘Only Here For A Little While’, on which he sounded like one of his heroes, Larry Gatlin, and then his own song, ‘Somewhere In My Broken Heart’, which had previously been an album track for Randy Travis. A string of Top 5 hits from his second album, ‘You Don’t Count The Cost’, ‘Only The Wind’, ‘Billy The Kid’ and ‘If There Hadn’t Been You’, confirmed Dean’s hit-making potential. The hits began to tail off following the release of ‘Tryin’ To Hide A Fire In The Dark’ at the end of 1992, although a cover version of Dave Mason’s ‘We Just Disagree’ did return Dean to the country Top 10 the following year.

After taking a year off from his career to spend time with his new baby, Dean returned in 1996 with his debut for the Capitol Records label, It’s What I Do. The album returned the singer to the Top 20 and spawned the country Top 5 hits ‘It’s What I Do’ and ‘That Girl’s Been Spyin’ On Me’. The follow-up Real Man stripped away some of the pop leanings of his earlier albums but was a commercial failure. An exhausted Dean then spent the next couple of years working as an actor, landing minor roles in the television shows A Face To Kill For and Blue Valley Songbird. He returned to the charts in 2001 with the minor hit ‘Please Keep Mom And Dad In Love’, a collaboration with Suzy Bogguss and 12-year old singer Jillian Arciero. His renewed interest in music and a determination to be self-reliant led to 2004’s independently released single ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy’. The track’s success on the country charts resulted in a new recording contract with Curb Records. Dean’s first studio album in over seven years, Let Them Be Little, followed at the start of 2005.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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