A singing priest and contestant on Britain’s Got Talent has become something of a YouTube star. Fr Ray Kelly, 64, of Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland received a standing ovation last weekend on the talent show after performing REM’s Everybody Hurts.
Fr Kelly received plaudits from judges Simon Cowell and Alesha Dixon who described his performance as “beautiful” and backed his appearance in the next round of the competition.
The priest said: “I knew I could put in a fairly good performance but I was amazed at the (judges) comments. I am in awe and humbled by it, I really was not expecting it.”
Fr Kelly acknowledged previous Catholic contestant Susan Boyle as an inspiration saying it is his “dream” to sing a duet with her. The priest already has two albums to his name thanks to a previous musical career and achieved social media fame in 2014 after a video of him singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah went viral, receiving over 60 million views.
Fr Kelly was applauded by parishioners at Sunday Mass after his performance. He has broken into song at a wedding mass he celebrated at St Brigid’s Chapel in Oldcastle.
Fr Kelly will progress to the next round of the competition and compete to progress to the semi-finals.