Billy Strings was born William Lee Apostol on October 3, 1992, in Lansing, Michigan.

His father died of a heroin overdose when he was two and his mother remarried Terry Barber, an accomplished amateur bluegrass musician. Billy regards Barber as his father. The family moved to Morehead, Kentucky, then to Muir, Michigan.

While he was still a pre-teen his parents became addicted to methamphetamine. He left the family home at the age of thirteen and went through a period of hard-drug usage. His family eventually achieved sobriety; Billy stopped using hard drugs and drinking alcohol.

Billy Strings (photo circa 2013, courtesy of Billy)

In 2012, Don Julin, a mandolin player from Traverse City, Michigan, and author of Mandolin For Dummies, asked Strings to join him on a paying gig.

The partnership lasted for the next four years.

Rolling Stone magazine named Strings one of the Top Ten New Country Artists to Know in 2017. And the rest, as they say, is history.

What:          Billy Strings

When:         Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Where:        Van Andel Arena (Grand Rapids, MI)

Time:          7:30 p.m.

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Billy Strings (photo by Billy Strings)


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