Billy Joe Ledesma Crawford was born in Manila, Philippines, to a Filipino mother from Jaro, Iloilo City named Mayette Ledesma, and an American father named Jack Crawford. He has two half-brothers.
Crawford was discovered at the early age of 3 years, singing at a bowling alley that his mother often visited. He became a series regular on an afternoon GMA Network television show called That's Entertainment under the name Billy Joe. He attended the International Christian Academy in the Philippines until his departure for the US when he was 12 and balanced both his professional acting and his studies. Crawford acted in a few films before he moved to the United States where he started a music career, performing mostly in the United Kingdom and France, as well as in Asia. His early career started in Dallas, Texas, where he lived and performed his singing and then moved to New York City. During this time, he legally changed his stage name to Billy Crawford. He first went to P.S./I.S. 217 Roosevelt Island Public School and then to Professional Performing Arts School in New York City with other famous professional children, such as Lee Thompson Young, Mandy Moore and Nina Sky. In 1995, he danced with Michael Jackson onstage when he was 13 years old as one of Jackson's back-up dancers at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.
He recorded his first album called Billy Crawford (which included hits such as "Urgently In Love" and "Mary Lopez") when he was 15 years old. It went straight into the charts in the Philippines and Europe.
Crawford was a success as a singer in France with the first single from his album Ride called "Trackin'". In 2001, it put Crawford at the top of the French charts. "Trackin'" has sold 750,000 copies and was certified platinum; it reached a #1 position on sales charts and was #1 in the club charts. The song also made #1 in the Netherlands, #2 in Belgium, #3 in Switzerland and #20 in Germany. It had a great success in Germany and became #1 on the radio and club chart. His second single "When You Think About Me", was also a huge success, and many other successes followed.
By April 2002, Crawford was back on the scene with his second album, Ride. This was certified gold in France (making 100,000 copies) within just a few weeks and gold in Switzerland. The album went on to achieve platinum status in the French market (making 300,000 copies) and a total of 600,000 copies has been sold to date. As for singles, following the success of the second track, "When You Think About Me" (over 250,000 copies sold in France), Crawford returned in September 2002 with a third single from the Ride album, "You Didn't Expect That", which went directly into the Top 5 and was certified gold in December, having sold more than 250,000 copies in just a few weeks. After this grand success, he returned in 2003 with two versions of a previously unreleased track: the English version of "Someone Like You" and a special Franco-English version for France, "Me Passer de Toi", which stayed in the singles charts for some weeks.
The album Big City was produced by some of the best producers in the American music industry such as Kovas (Ghettobeat Production), J Que (from "The Clutch"), Tricky Stewart and Laney Stewart (RedZone Entertainment), The CornaBoyz, Pale Face, Desmond Child and Stargate. He left his old company, V2 records, wanting to expand his career into something bigger.
Big City Tour Live is the live release DVD album from Crawford. The DVD was released in France in 2005. It was directed by Michel Jankielewicz, produced by Yves El-Baze and distributed by UMG (2005) (worldwide) (DVD). The budget of this album was €150,000 (estimated).
It's Time is the fourth studio album by Billy Crawford. The album was released in year 2007 with its first single Like That.
Groove is the fifth studio album by Billy Crawford. The recent CD is a re-working of classic hits from the 70’s to the 80’s.
Sky is the Limit is the first EP (and sixth release) by Billy Crawford. It features five new tracks as well as one remix and one instrumental. It was released through the independent label Jackpot Records.
Crawford had major chart success in France and other parts of Europe, but did not repeat this success in the United Kingdom and the United States, although his single "You Didn't Expect That" did make the lower reaches of the UK Top 40, peaking at number 35. He also contributed a remix of the Pokémon theme song for Pokémon: The First Movie. Crawford also appeared at a popular Filipino American event called "Fiesta Filipina" in 2001 held in San Francisco, California.
Crawford's album Big City was released in 2004 in France and Asia only. The single "Bright Lights" was unable to break into any Top 10 charts. The second single "Steamy Nights", produced by KOVAS - Ghetto Beat, fared better making the Top 40, and was featured on 7 compilations across Europe and was the first single in Germany. Crawford's music video for "Steamy Nights" was shot in Los Angeles, California, and was produced with the same people who worked on the Destiny's Child single "Lose My Breath". Actress Jenna Dewan, who was one of the main characters in the popular 2006 film Step Up, was featured as Crawford's dance partner.
Another song from the album, "Candy Store" was leaked from the album and received airplay on London radio. Thought to be a duet with Ginuwine, it is featured on the Big City album. After doing the first ever online reality show The MSN Dance Show, his third single from the album, "3 Wishes" was canceled by his label. Crawford felt it was time for something new and decided not to re-sign his contract with V2 Records.
In 2006, Crawford began recording a new album which was expected to be released in 2007. In 2006, he toured during the summer with the group L5 in France and in November he was scheduled to return to his home country to shoot a film.
In 2007, he returned to the Philippines for a new dance reality show, MOVE: The Search for Billy Crawford's Pinoy Dancers for GMA Network. The show searched for six back-up dancers to be called The Movers, for his very first Philippine concert, 'Billy Crawford: It's Time' held at the Araneta Coliseum. He brought along the brainchild of MOVE, then-wife and official dance choreographer Marie Courchinoux, known as 'Maryss from Paris' to be one of the main judges of the show as the Move Master. Initially having six Movers as his back-up crew, he eventually added a seventh Mover to complete the crew. Crawford's official dancers were Darcy Godoy, JM Vergara, Aizel Moñeva, AJ Sarate, Jobel Dayrit, Daniel Agbisit and Mich Garong. After the successful concert, he returned to the United States to work on projects and fulfill several commitments.
In 2008, upon his return to the Philippines, Crawford signed with ABS-CBN as an exclusive artist instead of returning to GMA. He became a regular on the Sunday variety show ASAP and later hosted Pinoy Dream Academy Überture, a reality search that involves the skill of singing.
In 2009, he returned to acting via Your Song Presents with his partner and fellow singer Nikki Gil. He also released his fifth studio album Groove in the Philippines as well as worldwide digital services later that year. He also hosted a former talent show, Showtime.
In 2010, he hosted Pilipinas Got Talent with fellow co-host Luis Manzano and both won as Best Talent Search Program Hosts at the 24th PMPC Star Awards for TV.
Since 2011, Crawford has been hosting with Vhong Navarro and other hosts in the weekday variety show It's Showtime.
In 2013, he released his first EP, Sky is the Limit on the independent label Jackpot Records. This was his first music release since 2009. On April 4, 2014, he renewed his contract with Universal Records. He was set to release a new album later that year.
In September 2014, Crawford was involved in an incident at a Bonifacio Global City police precinct where he allegedly flew into a drunken rage, injuring a desk officer and damaging the precinct's glass door in the ensuing scuffle.
Crawford, who had no prior history of legal incidents, has since issued an apology to his fans and to the officers whom he crossed paths with, though mischief and assault charges have been filed against him.
After moving to the United States at age 12, Crawford lived in Dallas and then New York City and has also lived in Paris and spent one year residing in London. He also lived in Los Angeles in 2007. He is multilingual; with his first language being Tagalog, his second being English and third, French.
In his early days in Hollywood, he secretly and briefly dated Mandy Moore and a few years ago when the latter shared it with the media. He was shortly engaged to French singer Lorie. After he had returned to the Philippines, he dated Nikki Gil for six years until their break-up in 2014. He began dating his co-host Coleen Garcia from It's Showtime! in 2013. They got engaged in December 2016.
In 2007, Crawford received an offer to do a dance film called Back Down. He was also supposed to read for a film with Whoopi Goldberg, but these Hollywood productions were pushed back. Crawford's life story has also been shown on the Philippine television drama show Maalaala Mo Kaya.2002: NRJ Music Awards - Best Newcomer of the Year
Billy was awarded for 2002 NRJ Music Awards for "Best Newcomer of the Year" at France.2003: NRJ Music Awards - International Male Artist of the Year
Billy Crawford was given "International Male Artist of the Year" at the NRJ Music Awards 2003 in Cannes, France, on January 18, 2003. He beat Robbie Williams to win the award.2007: Eastwood Walk of Fame - Billy Crawford
On January 15, 2007 he was given a star plaque at the Eastwood Walk of Fame in Philippines and was the first inductee that year.Nov. 25, 2007: Famas (Philippines)
March 26, 2008 : 3rd MYX Music Awards (Philippines)
November 13, 2010: 24th PMPC Star Awards for TV Philippines - Best Talent Program Host Winner (with Luis Manzano) for Pilipinas Got Talent.