Neal E. Boyd

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Neal E. Boyd
Neal Boyd 08-10-08.jpg
Neal E. Boyd signing an autograph after performing at St. John Lutheran Church-Ellisville, MO, USA
Background information
Born (1975-11-18) November 18, 1975 (age 38)
Origin Sikeston, Missouri, U.S.
Genres Operatic pop
Occupations Singer
Years active 2008–present
Labels Decca (2009-present)
Website www.nealeboyd.com

Neal E. Boyd (born November 18, 1975) is an American pop opera singer. He is best known as being the winner of the third season of America's Got Talent.

Early life[edit]

Neal E. Boyd grew up in Sikeston, Missouri, the son of an African American man and a white woman. Boyd and his brother were raised by their single mother in poverty.[1] He discovered operatic music in junior high school when his older brother was doing a school project involving classical music and brought home a CD of the Three Tenors. Boyd was so enamored by the passion and skill of the famous trio that he started learning to sing in Luciano Pavarotti's and Plácido Domingo's operatic styles. Boyd graduated from Sikeston High School in May 1994, where he was high school class president.[2][3]

He has a bachelor's degree in speech communications from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (May 2001), a Bachelor's degree in music from the University of Missouri–Columbia in Columbia, Missouri (May 2001)[4] and a Master’s degree in management from the online University of Phoenix.[5][6] Boyd was president of the Student Senate at Southeast Missouri State University,[7] where he was also a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.[8] While in college, Boyd interned at the capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.[9]

He was the winner of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Vocal Collegiate Championship in 2000 while in the voice studio of Professor Ann Harrell of University of Missouri–Columbia. This national win led to his solo debut at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall in March 2001.

After teaching music for the 2001-2002 school year in his hometown of Sikeston, Missouri, in 2002, he attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts to study opera.[10][11] This led to a role as the slave "York" in Michael Ching's World Premier Opera "Corps of Discovery, A Musical Journey," commissioned by University of Missouri–Columbia.

America's Got Talent[edit]

Boyd was the winner of America's Got Talent in 2008, and was awarded the $1-million prize and a headline show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Performances and results[edit]

Week Theme Song choice Original artist/composer Performance order Result
Audition Inspiration "Nessun Dorma" Puccini Final Advanced
Vegas Verdicts Classical Singers "Unchained Melody" Todd Duncan Advanced
Top 40 Group 1 "Somewhere" Leonard Bernstein 10 Advanced
Top 20 Group 1
Heroes
"Mama" Il Divo 7 Advanced
Top 10 Inspirations "All By Myself" Eric Carmen 8 Advanced
Top 5 Finals "Nessun Dorma" Puccini 3 Winner

Post Talent[edit]

Neal was awarded the $1-million prize and a headline show in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted by Jerry Springer.

On October 2008, Neal's hometown declared the month of October "Neal E. Boyd Month."[12]

Neal signed to Decca Records and released his debut album, My American Dream, on June 23, 2009, the day of the fourth season premiere of America's Got Talent. It debuted at #195 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Top Classical Albums Chart.

On March 10, 2010, Neal performed for the current U.S. President Barack Obama while visiting Missouri.[13][14] Since 2000, Boyd has also performed for Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Neal is the co-owner of Cox & Boyd, an insurance agency with locations in St Louis and Sikeston Missouri, and the Vice President of sales for Voluntary Benefit Services which is located in St. Louis, Missouri.

Politics[edit]

Boyd is a Republican.[15] He ran for a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2012,[16] but lost to Democrat Steve Hodges by 66 to 34%.[17] On September 5, 2013 Boyd announced that he would again seek to be elected to the Missouri House of Representatives from the 149th district in 2014. Hodges, his Democratic opponent in 2012, is term-limited by Missouri law and cannot run again.[18]

In 2000, he sang at the memorial service for former Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan who died in a plane crash during his U.S. Senate run against then Senator and later U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

In 2005, he sang the National Anthem at the inauguration of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.

On August 28, 2012, Boyd performed Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.[citation needed]

Various Missouri state and local officials nicknamed Boyd "The Voice of Missouri" due to his appearances at many prominent statewide events.[19]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US US Class US
Heat
Year End
Class
2009 My American Dream [20] 195 3 10 29
  • US sales: 6,000[21]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak Album
US
2009 "God Bless the USA" My American Dream

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.amazon.com/My-American-Dream-Neal-Boyd/dp/B001WT3EF6
  2. ^ http://www.semissourian.com/story/1441245.html
  3. ^ http://www.standard-democrat.com/story/1342810.html
  4. ^ http://www.semissourian.com/story/1441220.html
  5. ^ http://www.semissourian.com/story/1899552.html
  6. ^ http://www.semissourian.com/story/1826057.html
  7. ^ http://www.semissourian.com/story/1762003.html
  8. ^ http://www.semo.edu/news/archive/28269.htm
  9. ^ http://www.semissourian.com/story/1764132.html
  10. ^ http://www.standard-democrat.com/story/1342810.html
  11. ^ Darnell, Kathryn (2008-05-15). "Holding a High Note". Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  12. ^ "October declared Neal E. Boyd month in Sikeston". Sikeston Standard Democrat. September 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  13. ^ "Missourian Neal E. Boyd to perform for President Obama during visit" (Mar 10, 2010) KSCK
  14. ^ "Singer Neal E. Boyd looking forward to meeting president at St. Louis event" (March 9, 2010) Southeast Missourian
  15. ^ "Singer Neal E. Boyd to run for Missouri House seat" (September 13, 2011) Southeast Missourian
  16. ^ "'America's Got Talent' winner Neal E Boyd to run for Missouri legislature" (Sep 14 2011) Digital Spy
  17. ^ Ruch, Amber (November 7, 2012). "Hodges wins Mo. House seat in 149th District". KVFS. 
  18. ^ "Realty TV star ready for run at House seat". Associated Press via KTVO-TV website. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Neal Boyd timeline". Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  20. ^ "Neal E. Boyd". Decca Records. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  21. ^ "Catch up with singer Neal E. Boyd, winner of America’s Got Talent" (Summer 2010) Mizzou

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Terry Fator
America's Got Talent winner
Season 3 (Summer 2008)
Succeeded by
Kevin Skinner