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Sunday 22 September 2019

Being a priest comes first, says YouTube star

Father Ray Kelly from Oldcastle, County Meath. Photo: Barry Cronin
Father Ray Kelly from Oldcastle, County Meath. Photo: Barry Cronin


SINGING priest Fr Ray Kelly has said he will sign a record deal within a fortnight - once he's satisfied touring commitments won't compromise his vocation.

The Irish cleric, who became a global sensation after his version of the Leonard Cohen hit Hallelujah went viral on YouTube, has been in lengthy talks with three major labels over the past six weeks.

But the 60-year-old, who's been headhunted by heavy-hitters Sony and Universal and a smaller independent label, said he is finally ready to agree terms with one of the three industry players "in the next week or two".

However, he said he will only sign on the dotted line once he's convinced he'll be able to maintain his work rate in his parish and his commitments to his parishioners in Oldcastle, Co Meath.

He said: "We're still in talks at the moment, but we're very close to a deal with one of the labels. I thought we might have signed last week, but it looks like it's going to happen in the next week or two.

"As I've said before, first and foremost I'm a priest and I need to make sure I'm not pinned down to something that won't allow me to carry out my duties in the parish. I celebrated 25 years as a priest last month. It's a lifelong commitment, I love the parish and I never want to give that up. My situation is different to most people in the industry in that I won't always be in a position to drop everything and go on tour."

Sunday Independent

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