Billy McLaughlin is recognized internationally as a world-class guitarist, Emmy Award winning composer and inspirational keynote speaker who has appeared on Billboard’s Top-Ten Chart. Previously signed to Virgin Records’ Narada label, McLaughlin has 14 CD releases, 3 National Campus Entertainer of the Year Awards1, five Minnesota Music Awards and his decades of national concert touring earned him the Hall of Fame Achievement Award*.
But in 1999 McLaughlin vanished from sight as his career crumbled due to a little-known neuro-muscular disorder called Focal Dystonia. After suffering several years without a cure or even a diagnosis, this right-handed guitarist embarked on an unlikely attempt to regain his career by re-learning his instrument….left-handed! His remarkable comeback is captured in the independent documentary film Changing Keys (seen on PBS stations in 2010) and a concert film called Coming Back Alive featuring McLaughlin with string orchestra and a reunion of his longtime rock band. KPBS (San Diego) produced the 2013 Emmy Award winning live concert program called Starry Night – Billy McLaughlin with Orchestra Nova highlighting McLaughlin’s extraordinary talent as both guitarist and inspirational speaker.
Now serving as Ambassador for Awareness for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, McLaughlin is the winner of the 2010 Public Leadership in Neurology Award2 whose previous winners include Paul Allen, Julie Andrews, Leon Fleischer, and Michael J. Fox.
McLaughlin has resumed an international schedule of concert appearances and keynote speaking. He resides in his home state of Minnesota where he is proudly raising two boys.
1 National Association for Campus Activities/NACA
2American Academy of Neurology/AAN