The actor and singer has signed a contract with Island Records in the U.K. and Republic Records in the U.S. and his first release, "Children", written by Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall and Dua Lipa's frequent collaborator MNEK, is out on Friday, October 15.
"It's a song that is inspired by my life and everything I've gone through to get here," Billy tells Variety of the dance track, insisting he is sure it's his time to shine, because the music business wasn't "ready" for him when he made his recording debut more than two decades ago."
"Music is my first love. I grew up singing in the church," Billy explains. "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."
About Billy signing, Island U.K. senior VP Steve Pitron says, " 'Icon' is a word that is bandied around far too freely these days, but Billy Porter is without doubt the true definition of the word. Billy is someone who naturally radiates charm, charisma and integrity to all who enter into his orbit, and everyone who meets him always leaves feeling lifted by his inspirational energy."
"I couldn't be happier that Island UK and Republic are teaming up for this journey with Billy. We are truly blessed to be working with an artist of Billy's calibre - someone who knows what he wants, and who always stands up, and speaks out using his voice and platform to support others. I cannot wait for the world to hear the music he has been creating. There is only one Billy Porter. This is his time."
Billy has often showed off his vocal chops on film and recently sang in Camila Cabello's TV movie "Cinderella (2021)". He also performed a show-stopping rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" with pianist Lang Lang at last month's (September 2021) Global Citizen Live concert in Central Park, New York.