Gilman was just 12 years old when One Voice reached that milestone, and his album of the same name went double platinum, shipping more than 2 million copies.
Today, Gilman, 26, premieres his new single, Say You Will, at USA TODAY. Gilman will also take the stage as the host of the 2014 AMG Heritage Awards November 15th in Monroe, NC.
Guild president and former child singing star David L Cook says, "We are thrilled to have Billy as our host this year. Billy and I seem to just click and I feel it is mostly to do with how we grew up in the same environment and around the same people. It's not an easy life for a kid performer and we usually stick together as we get older. Even though he is a few years younger than me, we still have that history in common. I think having Billy as our host this year will not only let people know that Billy is still relevant as a marketable and viable performer, but will also help us to usher in a younger demographic to our show."
Gilman states, "When we wrote this song, I really felt it was the one my fans would respond to the most," says Gilman, who has not released an album since 2006. "It's a revamp but a 'hello again,' as well."
Gilman wrote Say You Will with Dan Murph and Philip Douglas, recording it at Nashville's Quad Studios with some of the musicians who played on his earlier releases.
"It was great to see them and see their reaction," he says. "I know that I'm old, if you will, but it's really funny to see people's reactions."
In the time since his last album, Gilman has spent his time between Nashville and his native Rhode Island, learning the craft of making music by working with professional songwriters, musicians and engineers.
"I really wanted to know more about what I did and what I want to do," he says. "For a lot of years, I was down there quietly, on my own, schlepping the road, walking into offices. Whether they believed in it or not, I was there because I believed it."
He played the occasional concert but also focused on philanthropic work. His last single was a multi-artist charity release called The Choice in 2012.
Gilman says he has recorded additional material that he plans to release down the road.
When he sees somebody react positively to his new songs, he says, "it's the respect I so badly wanted as a kid, but who's going to respect a 12-year-old kid? I get that in hindsight."
Gilman released six albums between 2000 and 2006. The One Voice single and its follow-up, Oklahoma, were his only two Top 40 hits.
"Having a child-star career has many cons, but it has pros, as well," he says. "With my career, one of the things I'm happiest about, looking back, is that a lot of the songs are timeless, if you will, where you can rediscover them, and they work. One Voice was not a teenybopper, child-star song. It's a song that I can sing until I'm 50 years old, and it's still relevant, especially in today's world."
Gilman says he's especially grateful for fans who have continued to support him, even when his career was dormant. He expects re-establishing his career to be a long journey, "but you've got to deal with what you've got to deal with to get what you believe in."