We would like to know what happened to Billy Gilman. He made Music Through Heartsongs: Songs Based on the Poems of Mattie J.T. Stepanek. What is he doing now?
—Peggy K., Wisconsin
Singer Billy Gilman, 17, met Mattie Stepanek after the two appeared on Larry King Live. Stepanek became a best-selling author at age 11 with a collection of poetry, written to help him cope with muscular dystrophy. They forged a friendship, which led to the 2003 release of Heartsongs, an album featuring Gilman singing Stepanek's poems put to music. Unfortunately, Stepanek died last year at age 13. As for Gilman, he's been out of the spotlight because his voice was changing. He spent the down time "just being a kid" in his hometown of Hope Valley, R.I. (pop. 1,649). Now, with his voice change complete, he's resuming a career that began in 2000 when the 11-year-old broke through with the hit One Voice. Gilman's new album, Everything and More, debuts this month, and he's gearing up for a summer tour. "I'm excited to be back out there performing," he says. "There's something for everyone on the new album. There's bluegrass and traditional country as well as some pop and rock-flavored country." For more on Gilman's collaboration with Mattie Stepanek, visit our archives at americanprofile.com to read the June 29, 2003 cover story.