Multi-award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, playwright, and author Billy Porter has unveiled a brand new single, “Children,” marking his debut under his newly minted joint partnership with Island UK and Republic Records.
“Children” is a high-energy dancefloor anthem co-written with GRAMMY® Award-nominated songwriter MNEK [H.E.R., Dua Lipa] and Little Mix’s Jade Thirwell. Speaking about the inspiration behind the track Billy says, “It’s a song that is inspired by my life and everything I’ve gone through to get here.”
The song begins wistfully, with Porter empathizing:
See I know times are hard, Yeah I mean it from the heart
You’re not losing the fight, love will make it alright
Cos I’ve been there, done that, worn that dress, so you know mama knows it best…
“Music is my first love,” says Porter. “I grew up singing in the church. When I first put out commercial music in 1997, the industry was not ready for all this Black Boy Joy! But luckily the world has caught up. I could not be more thrilled to entrust this next chapter of my music career to the Island/Republic team. Make way children! Daddy’s back.”
Porter delivers the song’s show-stopping hook, “Gotta let these children know what time it is,” punctuated by his jaw-dropping range.
“For the first time, my music is what I want it to be, what I want it to say, which is hope, love,” said Porter. “We have to choose it every day so we can fight the evil that is so pervasive. We can only fight it with love and I am so excited for my music for that.”
Porter began his music career in 1997 with the release of his self-titled (aka Untitled) debut album which spawned the Top 10 “Bubbling Under” single, “Show Me,” and the monster ballad, “Love Is On The Way,” which also appeared at the pivotal moment in the film, First Wives Club. He went on to release “At the Corner of Broadway + Soul” (2005), “Billy’s Back on Broadway” (2014), and “The Soul of Richard Rodgers” (2017) featuring Pentatonix, India.Arie, Leslie Odom Jr. and Cynthia Erivo, among others.
Porter scored his first #1 with “Love Yourself” in 2019 on the US Dance Club Songs Chart. He followed that up with his 2020 reimagining of the legendary Buffalo Springfield anthem, “For What It’s Worth,” and a fierce collaboration with The Shapeshifters on “Finally Ready.” 2021 saw Porter covering Juliet Roberts club classic “Caught in The Middle ” for Red Hot + Free, which supports underserved communities afflicted with HIV/AIDS. He was also enlisted by multi platinum international superstar Jessie J for “I Want Love.” And he delivered a fierce turn on Earth, Wind, and Fire’s iconic “Shining Star” as Fab G, the Fairy Godmuva, in the new remake of “Cinderella.”
Porter took home the EMMY® Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” in 2019 for his work as Pray Tell on Pose, making history in being the first openly gay man to do so. Time Magazine named him one of the “100 Most Influential People” of 2020. This October, Billy will release his highly anticipated memoir, “Unprotected.” His directorial film debut, “What If,” is set to drop in 2022. Billy kicks off his next chapter in music, his first love, with a new album coming soon.
Download “Children” here.
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