Billy Crawford, born William Ledesma Crawford on May 16, 1982 in Manila, is one of the most popular Filipino artists of his generation. He was born to a Filipina mother and American father. Billy started his showbiz career at the age of three after being discovered in a bowling alley frequented by his mother. At age four, he became the youngest member of the popular youth-oriented variety show, That’s Entertainment, under the screen name, Billy Joe Crawford.
He acted in several movies as a child star before moving to the US with his family when he was 11 years old. Billy continued his singing career in the US as a teenager, performing mostly in the United Kingdom and France, as well as in Asia. He also legally changed his name to Billy Crawford during this time.
In 1999, Billy recorded his first album called “Billy Crawford” which went straight into the charts in the Philippines and Europe. His second album, “Trackin,” released in 2001, put him at the top of the French charts. The single “Trackin” made him a household name in France and also became a major hit in other European countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. His other albums, “Ride” (2002), “Big City” (2005), “It’s Time” (2007), and “Groove” (2009), were also well received. In 2003, he produced the 5-track “Sky is the Limit,” released through the independent label, Jackpot Records.
In 2005, Billy was cast to portray an important role in the horror film, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. He continued touring Europe and returned to the Philippines in 2007 for a dance reality show M.O.V.E which searched for back-up dancers for his homecoming concert at the Araneta Coliseum. After the concert, he returned to the United States to fulfill several commitments.
When Billy returned to the Philippines in 2008, he signed an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN and became a regular performer on the Sunday variety show ASAP. He also hosted the 2nd season of the singing reality show, Pinoy Dream Academy, which paved the way for more hosting stints on other Kapamilya shows such as Pilipinas Got Talent, Panahon Ko ‘To!: Ang Game Show ng Buhay Ko and It’s Showtime.
He also returned to acting in local TV (Maalala Mo Kaya and Your Song) and films (Moron 5 and the Crying Lady in 2012 and Momzillas in 2013).
Billy had relationships with several popular personalities including American singer-actress Mandy Moore when he was 15, and French singer-actress, Lorie. He was also reported to have married a certain Marie Courchinoux from Paris but divorced after 5 years.
In 2008, he entered a relationship with Pinoy Dream Academy co-host Nikki Gil which ended in a controversial breakup in 2013. He is currently pursuing It’s Showtime co-host Coleen Garcia.