Singing Irish priest reacts to 'Hallelujah' viral Youtube video; Watch performance of new song 'You Raise Me Up'
His rendition of "Hallelujah" has nearly 10 million YouTube views.
When Father Ray Kelly sang "Hallelujah" at a couple's wedding, he never imagined the video would go viral.
The Irish priest was performing a wedding ceremony for Leah and Chris O'Kane when he surprised them by singing Leonard Cohen's 1984 hit, "Hallelujah." Kelly's performance featured amended lyrics that celebrated the O'Kane's union.
The wedding video, uploaded on Monday, has received nearly 10 million views on Youtube.
Father Kelly expressed shock at his sudden internet fame.
"I knew somebody had taken a video," he told The Irish Times on Wednesday, "but I've been absolutely flabbergasted by the response."
He also admitted that he doesn't usually visit the website that made him famous.
"I've only been on YouTube once or twice in my life so it was a surprise to see the video and see how many views it has, I've been floored by the reaction."
Father Kelly stated that he has received requests to perform at other weddings due to his newfound popularity, and is also dealing with media interviews.
"I've made five or six radio appearances so far, and then had a funeral this morning," he said. "I've got no problem coping with the attention."
Indeed, show business is not new for the cleric. He was a member of the "All Priests Show," a traveling music ensemble, and performed across Ireland and the U.S.
"I love to sing, and I love the buzz of performing," Kelly stated. "I travelled to America and did shows there. I've never had to deal with anything like this before, but I'm coping."
The musically-inclined priest has released two albums, and is working on a third.
"I'm hoping it will raise money for local charities," he said. "The first one was called 'Simply Me' and the second, 'More of Me.' I've had suggestions the new one should be called 'No More of Me!'"
Kelly's wedding performance of Secret Garden's "You Raise Me Up" is also drawing attention. The video has received over 300,000 YouTube views in less than three days.