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24th Apr 2018

Father Ray Kelly’s secret past before Britain’s Got Talent has been revealed

James Dawson

He probably wouldn’t have wanted viewers knowing about this.

On Saturday Irish priest Father Ray Kelly took to the Britain’s Got Talent stage, in front of the judging panel, to sing R.E.M’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ – moving Simon Cowell to tears with his emotive performance.

Appearing on the show, Ray told judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams that he sang in church – but it seems he didn’t quite tell the full story.

Although he wowed the judges, it’s fair to say he isn’t quite the musical amateur viewers usually expect to appear on the show, as he has already had a professional music career. In fact, he has two albums to his name and is a huge viral star in Ireland.

The 64-year-old priest became a viral sensation in 2014 after his special cover performance of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ captured hearts across the internet.

Watch that here:

Following his rise to viral fame, Kelly had a contract with Universal, which ended in 2015, following the release of Where I Belong the previous year. He also recorded a 13-track Christmas album and has been on a 2-week US tour.

Speaking about the contestant, a Britain’s Got Talent spokesperson told the Express: “Father Ray Kelly was signed to Universal International for two albums only. His recording deal with Universal ended in 2015.

“He is currently a working priest and BGT is his biggest performance to date.”