Billy Dean (born William Harold Dean, Jr., April 2, 1962 in Quincy, Florida) is an American country music singer and songwriter, who first gained national attention after appearing on the television talent competition Star Search. Active as a recording artist since 1991, he has recorded a total of eight studio albums, and has charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. His biggest solo hits are "Only Here for a Little While", "Somewhere in My Broken Heart", and "If There Hadn't Been You", all reached peaks of #3 on the country music charts.
Billy first became known to fans in the early 1990s with his appearance on "Star Search." He later earned a recording contract with Liberty Records and rose to national stardom with a string of Top 10 hits on Billboard magazine's country singles chart. His debut song, 1991's "Only Here For a Little While," rose into the Top 5, while the follow up, "Somewhere in My Broken Heart," repeated the feat. "Somewhere in My Broken Heart" won the 1992 Academy of Country Music award for Song of the Year; he also took home the ACM's New Male Vocalist award..
Dean's string of hits continued in the early- and mid-1990s, with songs like "You Don't Count the Cost" (1991); "Only the Wind," "Billy the Kid" and "If There Hadn't Been You" (all 1992); "Tryin' to Hide a Fire in the Dark" (1993); "We Just Disagree" (a remake of the 1970s Dave Mason hit) (1993); "It's What I Do" and "That Girl's Been Spying on Me" (both 1996).
In 1991 Dean wrote and sang the theme song to the ABC animated television series Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa. It is titled "Up on the Mesa".
During the late 1990s, his career slowed down a bit, although he made several television appearances, including "One Life to Live" and "Wings." He and Alison Krauss sang backup on Kenny Rogers' 2000 single "Buy Me a Rose". At the time, the song made Kenny the oldest artist to score a country #1; it also marked the only time that Dean reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
In 2004, Dean was signed to Asylum Curb, where he began a comeback with the single "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" (a remake of John Denver's classic). In early 2005, he released the album Let Them Be Little, which featured both "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and the title track. "Let Them Be Little" was co-written by Richie McDonald, who at the time was the lead singer of Lonestar; Lonestar also recorded the song on their 2005 album Let's Be Us Again. Dean's version of the song became his first Top Ten hit on the country charts in nearly nine years.