Singing priest and YouTube sensation Father Ray Kelly has said he's determined to cut "the best record deal possible" after being approached by a third major label.
The Irish cleric became a global sensation last month after his version of the Leonard Cohen hit “Hallelujah,” which he performed at a wedding in his parish, went viral on YouTube and quickly clocked up more than 34 million online views.
Earlier this month he looked on the verge of signing a deal after entering negotiations with leading record labels Sony and Universal.
But on Tuesday of this week, the 60-year-old said he's yet to sign a contract as a third big industry player has since made contact with him.
And he revealed he will meet chiefs of the label --- whose identity he did not disclose - to discuss terms in the coming days.
"A third record company has come on board and I'm going over to meet them later in the week,” Kelly said.
"I want to get the best deal possible, one that allows me to record not just one album, but two or three.
"The money is important too, because that will enable me to donate more to certain charities and to help out my family members, some of who are in negative equity. I also have personal needs myself and want to look after myself, as I'm not on a huge salary as a priest."
However, Kelly, the parish priest in Oldcastle, Co. Meath, stressed that whatever international success lies ahead in the future, he will never turn his back on his vocation.
"Next month I celebrate 25 years as a priest. It's a lifelong commitment and I love the parish,” he said.
“First and foremost I am a priest, but I think my duties in the parish and the singing can work successfully together."
Kelly also revealed he's still been receiving regular requests to perform at events and weddings abroad, though he admitted, "Things have died down a bit, which I'm relieved about." Because of unforeseen circumstances, Kelly had to withdraw from a planned appearance in New York last week at an event hosted by the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.
And he said one welcome change his new-found fame has brought him is a rise in Mass attendances.
"The Sunday before last a couple flew in from California and made their way up to Mass. They told me, 'We had to come and see you,’” he said.