After touring the Gulf Coast circuit in his late teens and early twenties, Billy’s first big break came in 1988 when he won Best Male Vocalist on Star Search, hosted by Ed McMahon. His success on the show led to signing with Columbia Records and the release of his debut album Young Man in 1990. Buoyed by the singles “Only Here for a Little While” and “Somewhere in My Broken Heart,” Young Man became Billy’s first of many Gold records.
His second and third albums, Billy Dean and Fire in the Dark, were also certified as Gold Records and featured the Billboard-charting singles, “You Don’t Count the Cost,” “Only the Wind,” “Billy the Kid,” “If There Hadn’t Been You,” “Tryin’ to Find a Fire in the Dark,” “I Wanna Take Care of You,” “I’m Not Built That Way” and more.
Over the course of his 25+ year career, Billy has released 11 albums and has been recognized with several awards and nominations. In 1992, he was nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year for “Somewhere in My Broken Heart,” which went on to win Song of the Year at the American Country Music Awards. That same year, Billy was named Top New Male Vocalist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music awards and nominated by the Country Music Association for the Horizon Award. Four years later, Billy won a Grammy for Amazing Grace, A Country Tribute to Gospel, an album featuring Martina McBride, Allison Krauss, the Charlie Daniels Band and others. In 2017, Billy was inducted as a member of the Florida Artist Hall of Fame.