Posted by: coomercove | October 30, 2010

Billy Hodges Leaving the Kingdom Heirs

The Kingdom Heirs and Billy Hodges have announced that Billy will be leaving the group early next year due to Billy having vocal problems (a lesion on his left vocal chord).

I’d heard this was probably going to happen two or three weeks ago, but I was hoping it wasn’t true.  When Billy first joined the Kingdom Heirs, I was skeptical of the hire, but I’m glad to say I was completely wrong about that.  Billy developed into a great tenor and was perfect for the group.  Hiring Billy turned out to be a brilliant move by Steve French.  It paid off for the group as they had multiple #1 songs and several outstanding recordings with Billy singing tenor.

I hate to see his time with the Kingdom Heirs cut short due to voice problems, but as everyone knows, the Kingdom Heirs is the most vocally demanding job in southern gospel music.  Billy’s predecessor, Jodi Hosterman, also left the group due to voice issues stemming from the Kingdom Heirs’ daily schedule.

Billy will be staying with the group through the middle of January, giving Billy time to find other employment — a class act by group owner Steve French.

As for a replacement for Billy, I’m not saying this is going to happen, but don’t be surprised to see Jerry Martin join.



  1. That’s interesting, because I would have thought the Gaither Vocal Band was the most vocally demanding job in Southern Gospel.

    • Yeah, I would actually consider GVB one of the least vocally demanding jobs in SG. Many fewer concerts than most groups, and then there’s the vocal stacks.

  2. Consider how much the Kingdom Heirs sing at Dollywood…

    Nine months a year, five or six days a week, two or three times a day, 40 minutes a set, plus time talking at their product table after sets.

    As far as I know, the Gaither Vocal Band only do two concerts a week, sometimes three, with several other artists on each program. And how many months a year does the GVB take off?

    The Kingdom Heirs tour as a typical southern gospel group the three months they have off at Dollywood.

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