Multi-talented vocalist Billy Valentine’s varied career has taken him across the United States, throughout the many countries of Europe and even to Oman.
Billy began his professional career as a solo artist opening for such luminaries as Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack in the 1970s. He also was the lead singer for the group Young Holt Unltd.
Billy and his brother John went on to form the duo The Valentine Brothers, touring and producing four albums from 1975-1989. The duo co-wrote the memorable hit single “Money’s Too Tight (To Mention),” which appeared on their album First Take. “Money’s Too Tight” gained widespread popularity in 1986 when it was released as a single, and on video, performed by Simply Red.
Billy’s singing career quickly expanded into theatre and film. In 1977, he toured with the first national touring company of The Wiz as one of its main orchestra voices, staying with the show for over 3 years. In the mid 1980s, he sang lead vocals for the documentary, Champions Forever, a film about Ali, Frazier and Foreman. In the early 1990s, Billy was the singing voice for the lead vocalist character in Robert Townsend’s feature film, The Five Heartbeats. He joined the show It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, performing at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles and the San Diego Rep in the late ’90s.
Billy’s singing talents have also been in demand as a demo recording artist for such high-profile producers and writers as Gerry Goffin, Mark Isham, Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
Keeping pace with his expanding singing career, Billy has written numerous songs, collaborating with such greats as Will Jennings and co-writing three songs on the Neville Bros. Family Groove album. He also co-wrote the title track “My World” for the incomparable Ray Charles.
During the ’70s and ’80s, Billy tried his hand at producing with several projects, including “Crazy For You,” by Sly Stone and Jesse Johnson, two songs on the feature film soundtrack, Soul Man, and the album Vesta from Vesta Williams for A&M Records.
As a musical artist, Billy feels he has been most profoundly influenced by the soulful talents of Otis Redding, Nat King Cole and Carmen MacRae.