SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — A Shreveport native’s talent and unwavering faith took him from a recording contract to roaming and knighthood.
Billy Dorsey is the son of a retired airman who served 20 years in the Air Force and settled the family in Haughton after leaving Barksdale Air Force Base. Apostle Billy Dorsey, Sr. and Pastor Patricia Dorsey raised their sons in the church they founded, the Bridge of Hope Worship Center on Greenwood Road.
Dorsey graduated from Haughton High School and attended Louisiana Tech on a music scholarship. He signed a recording contract while in college and believed he and his singing group were on their way to stardom. He moved to Houston to start recording.
The deal fell apart when a band member who was still living in Shreveport was cut by the label, citing the distance between Shreveport and Houston as the reason for the cut. Dorsey says he left the band out of solidarity, and that choice dramatically changed the direction of his life. The label imposed a seven-year freeze, leaving Dorsey homeless and unable to sign with another label.
Dorsey says that during his time on the streets of Houston, he never lost faith and never considered returning to his parents.
“I am their eldest son and I have younger brothers. I didn’t want to set an example to my brothers that we run to mom and dad when life gets tough. I was determined to follow the lessons they had taught me and the faith they had instilled in me and to stand tall. Now my brothers or anyone I meet in the world can see that you can overcome any obstacle if you are willing to plan, work hard, and trust God in the process.
Trusting God in the process worked, and after seven years on the streets Billy got a job and slowly restarted his life and music career.
During this career he created beautiful music with some of the biggest groups in Christian music, Dove, Grammy and Stellar awards, and his top 40 album, Marathon.
Although his career trajectory has changed, Dorsey never forgot those seven years of wondering how he was going to cope. He has turned to philanthropy and lists homelessness and mental illness as social issues he champions.
Dorsey recently launched the first-ever NFT project to support The Salvation Army. The Safest place project is an initiative that helps build homes for homeless families. The Safest Place project raised over $2,500,000. He has helped house over 407 homeless families through the sale of NFTs containing original music from Dorsey’s The Bridge Life Music Career Advancement organization.
A friend of Dorsey’s, Sir Brad Blazar, unknowingly knighted him. His good works and professional achievements were considered by the Royal Order of Cappadocia.
“The Royal Order examined me and interviewed me before confirming my appointment as a knight.”
Then confirmation came in the form of a letter from the Royal House which read:
“You are recognized for your outstanding professional achievements and your generosity in supporting philanthropic activities. Over the years, you have made a vital contribution to society.
“It is a real knighthood and it comes with all the rights, decorations and paraphernalia of a royal knighthood. I even had a royal sword,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey says he didn’t believe it at first. He thought the honor of being knighted was for the aristocrats and the most famous.
“I did more research and learned that there are legitimate royal orders with cursus honorum, which means the legal right to make nobles and confer titles that mean something. The Royal House of Cappadocia is one such order,” Dorsey said. “My wife Monica was the first person I spoke to, and she was thrilled for me.”
Dorsey says that while his wife was happy, she wanted him to make sure he did his homework to learn more about the order and what it stood for.
“She’s been in my corner every step of the way.”
After the June 5 investiture ceremony, he bears the title of Sir Billy Lee Dorsey, Jr., a Knight of the Royal Order of Cappadocia by His Royal Highness, Prince Rafael Andujar y Vilches.