The Rocks Off 100: Billy Dorsey, Grammy-Winning MARATHON Runner

Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.

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Photo courtesy of Billy and Makasha Dorsey
Who? It is apt that songwriter and producer Billy Dorsey should name his debut gospel album MARATHON, because he has been running all of his life.

His latest long-distance stretch is from Atlanta back to Houston, where he has just finished shooting a music video for the upcoming album's first single. "MARATHON is the future of gospel music," he said by phone from Mobile, Ala., the current rest stop on his way back home to Houston.

When Dorsey is not running, he serves as an outreach pastor for Lakewood Church.

"Ministry is definitely in the forefront for me," says Dorsey. But he is not only a gospel recording artist; he is also a songwriter and producer for artists like 2 Chainz, Day 26 and Maino. He also just won a Grammy for producing for Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae -- but more on that later.

Home Base: Dorsey started his MARATHON at an early age. The son of an Air Force father, Dorsey spent much of his childhood moving around to different cities and states. He was born in Arkansas and lived in Illinois, Louisiana and even Germany before settling down in Houston to sign a record deal with Polygraph Records as a member of the gospel group Serenity. The deal, unfortunately, would not last -- but more on that later.

Why Do You Stay in Houston? "Opportunity," he says. Where other artists, songwriters and producers might run away to the New York or California shores, Dorsey cools his heels in the Bayou City, where he says there is great camaraderie among musicians and the musically-related.

Music Scene Pet Peeve: "Egos," he says. "You have a lot of people that think they're bigger than they are."

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