The "Hallelujah Priest" Father Ray Kelly, 60, has revealed he once sang "Danny Boy" for Pope John Paul II, the pope who inspired him to become a priest.
He discussed his first brush with fame on “The Late Late Show” in Dublin.
It seemed likely that his YouTube hit will reach 20 million hits
On the video he is singing the Leonard Cohen “Hallelujah” song with different words for the bride and groom at their wedding in Oldcastle, County Meath,
“It’s incredible,” he said.
Speaking on “The Late Late Show”, Kelly stated that he worked for ten years as a civil servant in Dublin.
He was deeply impacted by Pope John Paul’s visit to Ireland in 1979.
A year later a group of 1,000 young Catholics from the Catholic Youth Council went to Rome on a reciprocal visit.
They were invited to John Paul’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo and Ray Kelly was chosen to sing “Danny Boy”for the pope.
When he returned he decided to join the seminary at the older age of 27. He remembers that three others also joined up.
He said he has been invited to celebrate weddings all over the world since the YouTube video went viral.
”Brazil, Chile, Japan, Lithuania, Croatia, first class tickets,” he told "Late Late Show" host Ryan Tubridy.
He is no stranger to performing. As a member of the "All Priests Show," a traveling music ensemble, he 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."
He is working on a third album.
"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!'"