International record deal for ‘singing priest’

Singing priest Father Kelly is a man very much in demand since becoming a YouTube sensation in the past few weeks.

Father Ray Kelly

The Co Meath priest sang an impromptu version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah as a tribute to Chris and Leah O’Kane during their wedding.

The video was posted on the internet and has now been viewed more than 30 million times. Father Kelly admits he has been amazed by the response.

He has appeared on Irish television and is due to star in a sell-out New York concert next month. He is also on the wishlist of several major record companies. Father Kelly spoke to the Irish Independent about his new-found status as a global star:

“I knew I could sing – and that I had a voice – but I never thought I’d be in this league. As a young lad I always dreamed about hitting the big time. But not many people get there. I have an appointment with Sony this week and also have to make contact with Universal.”

‘I’d like an international career – but still be a priest’

“It’s kind of like somebody winning the Lotto – and then all of a sudden their life changes forever. Somebody even compared me to a male Susan Boyle.”

It looks like the only way is up for the likeable Father Kelly. He has brightened up his services in the past with a song. An international record deal plus several more guest appearances on TV stations around the world are sure to follow. However, Father Kelly has his feet firmly on the ground and added:

“I’ve done a few amateur CDs and it was lovely to put the voice down on vinyl. But all this would put me in a different league altogether. I’d like to launch an international career – but I still want to be a priest.”

Since his version of Hallelujah has hit the headlines, more videos of Father Kelly singing have surfaced on YouTube. He has often sang during his masses to brighten up the service for his congregation. Below are a couple more performances from Father Kelly, plus his famous rendition of Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Father Kelly

Father Kelly speaking on The Late Late Show