Alex Boyé

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alex Boyé
Born 1970 (age 45–46)
London, England
Nationality English and American
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Spouse(s) Julie Boyé (m. 2007)
Children 4

Alex Boyé (born 1970)[1] is a British-born American singer and actor.

Early life[edit]

He was born in London, England in 1970. Boyé's mother and father are Nigerians. While pregnant, Boyé's mother went to London while his father remained in Nigeria. According to his own words, he never knew his father. His mother remarried and worked for London Underground, cleaning tracks at night. One day his mother said she was going to Nigeria for a couple of weeks for a visit and did not come back for eight years. Boyé was raised in the Tottenham neighbourhood that has been described as "tough.". He spent much of his youth in foster homes with Caucasian parents.[1] As a teenager, he listened to the music of Motown, including artists Stevie Wonder, Kool and the Gang, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson and Otis Redding. When he was 16, Boyé was working in a McDonald's in London when he was introduced to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) by a manager. He was baptised soon afterward, without his mother's knowledge.[1] Boyé first performed in public while serving as a missionary for the LDS Church in Bristol, England.[1]


After completing his mission, he became a backing dancer. Among those who he performed with in this role was George Michael.[2]

In 1995, he formed and became the lead singer of Awesome, a European boy band.[3] They performed at local dances and other small venues until 1996 when they won a vocal competition on Capital Radio, London's largest radio station. Universal Records of Europe signed Awesome to a five-album recording contract. Awesome released three singles off their first album, Rumors, which made top-10 charts all across Europe.[3]

The band sold 500,000 CDs and performed alongside artists that included Bryan Adams, George Michael, Simon and Garfunkel, MC Hammer, and many others. But Boyé disliked the lifestyle of a touring musician. "I had this dream of being a musician, but it was taking me down a road that led somewhere I didn't want to go," he said.[1] Boyé decided to leave the band in 1999 to pursue a solo career. He lost all of the material possessions he had gained as a member of Awesome when the record company took the apartment, the clothes, the phone and the money.[3] In 2000, Alex moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, to pursue a career in Christian music. He released his first religious album The Love Goes On in 2001.

When the lead actor portraying Frederick Douglass in the Rodgers Memorial Theatre's production of Frank Wildhorn's Civil War dropped out three weeks before the play opened, Boyé was recruited as a replacement. With no prior acting experience and no knowledge of the Civil War, he learned his lines and united the cast. Glenn McKay, the theatre's board president, had recruited black performers for the show from the Calvary Baptist choir and other area churches, but was having trouble melding them with his Davis County regulars. McKay said Boyé "saved the production."[1] Boyé followed that success with the role of Aminadab in the Lightstone Films production of David and Goliath.[4] In 2005, Boyé received an award from the LDS Booksellers Association for his album Testimony.[5] Boyé also appeared in a 2008 episode of the BYU produced TV show The Writers' Block.[6]

Boyé was seeking a way to build an LDS audience when he met Craig Jessop, then conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, at an LDS music festival and he encouraged Boyé to audition for the choir. Boyé joined the 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 2006 and, when accepted, became one of three black choir members. He also continued to pursue a solo career.[7] He had two solo parts in the choir's album Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.[8]

In 2010, Boyé performed the single, "Born to Be a Scout", at the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. This song comes directly from the movie he wrote it for, Scout Camp.[9]

Boyé was also signed to Deseret Book's Shadow Mountain label.[1] In August 2010, he was a featured soloist in a concert connected with the rededication of the Catholic church in St. George, Utah.[10]

In August 2011, Boyé was invited to take part in Glenn Beck's "Restoring Courage" rally in Jerusalem. Boyé was given a minor non-singing part, but at the last minute Beck asked him to sing to a group of individuals who had helped put on the rally. Beck was so impressed that he rearranged the next evening's program so that Boyé could close the rally.

Songs by Boyé have appeared in movie soundtracks including Charly (2002), The Dance, Baptists at Our Barbecue and Church Ball.[11][12] Boyé was featured in a video by The Piano Guys, released in January 2012 as "Peponi", a cover of Coldplay's "Paradise" on YouTube.[13] In early 2013 he did a cover of the Lumineers "Ho Hey" that also generated a large number of YouTube hits.[14]

In early 2013, Boyé signed with Wenrick-Birtcher Entertainment (Eddie Wenrick & Baron R. Birtcher) as his managers.

In March 2013, Boyé opened for a performance by Olivia Newton John at the Royal Albert Hall.[2] A documentary DVD entitled Front Man telling Boyé's story has also been produced.[15] In 2013, Boye released a song entitled "I Am Gold".[16]

In early 2014, he, along with the One Voice Children's Choir, created an Africanized tribal version of the popular song "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen.[17] The video went viral, propelling Boyé's combined YouTube views to over 100 million. It was selected as YouTube's best pop cover of 2014.[18]

Boyé had a role in the 2014 film Saints and Soldiers: The Void. He also released a YouTube music video to promote the film.[19] Boyé attained some acclaim for his cover of Taylor Swift's song "Shake It Off",[20] with over 600,000 views, as of January 1, 2015.

In December 2014, Boyé released an original Christmas song and YouTube video entitled "Newborn – Wise Men Still Seek Him".[21]

In January 2015, Boyé released an Africanised version of "Circle of Life", with proceeds from the sale going to the koinsforkenya mission.

In 2015, Boyé was awarded the Governor's Mansion Artist Award.[22]

In June 2015, Boyé and his band, Changing Lanes Experience, performed their version of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" on the 10th season of America's Got Talent. After receiving great comments from the judges, they advanced into the next round to perform on Judge Cuts Week. In August 2015, he and the band were eliminated on Judge Cuts Week 4 after performing their version of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk".

In September 2015, Boye was announced as a cast member in the remake of the film Saturday's Warrior, anticipated for release in 2016.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Boyé met his wife, Julie, in an LDS singles ward[1] and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on January 6, 2007.[24][25] They are the parents of four children.[citation needed][26]

In 2009, Boyé began raising money to buy a house for a local refugee family with sales of his single, "Crazy for You."[27]

On February 22, 2012, Boyé became a United States citizen in a ceremony at the Rose Wagner Theater in Salt Lake City.[28] Boyé was surprised when he was invited by the judge conducting the ceremony to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner".[29]

A video showing Boyé is part of the "I'm A Mormon" campaign launched by the LDS Church in Britain in the spring of 2013.[30]


Year Title Role Notes
2004 3.2 Percent (TV Series) Himself 1 episode
2005 David and Goliath Abinidab Movie
2008 The Writers' Block (TV Series) Joshua 1 episode
2012 Front Man: The Alex Boye Story Himself Documentary
Restoring Love Himself/Singer TV movie
2014 The Hour of Power Himself/Musical Guest 1 episode
Saints and Soldiers: The Void Private Perry Movie
2016 Saturday's Warrior Heavenly Guide Movie


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Baker, Celia R. (17 July 2009). "Former British pop sensation Alex Boyé finds his voice in Mormon Tabernacle Choir". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Shute, "British Mormons"
  3. ^ a b c Boyé, Alex (2004). "International Perspectives of a Black Member in a "White" Church". Proceedings of the 2004 FAIR Conference. Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Alex Boye at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "Alex Boyé: "The Song of the Heart"". Genesis Group. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  6. ^ IMDb entry for Boye
  7. ^ "About Alex Boyé". Alex Boyé. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Alex Boye in concert to spread message of hope". Deseret News. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott (4 August 2010). "Mutual respect at time of celebration". Church News. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Alex Boyé". Shadow Mountain Records. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Video: 'Hi, I'm Alex Boye I am a recording artist and I'm a Mormon'". Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  13. ^ Jensen, Emily W. (11 January 2012). "Alex Boyé sings Coldplay and the LDS Church on Twitter". Deseret News. 
  14. ^ Porter, Brooke (29 January 2013), "Mormon recording artist Alex Boyé to take new Luminneers' 'Ho Hey' cover out to sea (+video)", Deseret News 
  15. ^ Deseret Book link on Front Man
  16. ^ Deseret News, 15 September 2013.
  17. ^ Moore, Alison (16 February 2014), "Alex Boyé teams up with One Voice Children's Choir and Lexi Walker for Africanized 'Let It Go'", Deseret News 
  18. ^ Petersen, Sarah (31 December 2014), "Alex Boye's 'Let It Go' and Piano Guys make YouTube's 'Best Pop Covers of 2014'", Deseret News 
  19. ^ Petersen, Sarah (2 August 2014), "The Clean Cut: Alex Boye releases 'Danny Boy' music video for 'Saints and Soldiers' film", Deseret News 
  20. ^ Petersen, Sarah (11 November 2014), "The Clean Cut: Alex Boye releases cover of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off'", Deseret News 
  21. ^ Petersen, Sarah (16 December 2014), "The Clean Cut: Alex Boye releases original Christmas song", Deseret News 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Sep. 1, 2015 Deseret News article
  24. ^ "Famous Mormons in Music and Entertainment". 22 June 2012. 
  25. ^ McClure, Emily (28 February 2012). "Alex Boye's American dream comes true with U.S. citizenship". Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  26. ^ Deseret News, May 22, 2012
  27. ^ Sheahan, Nicole (11 December 2009). "Alex Boye: Being the Change — Inside Mormon Music". Deseret News. 
  28. ^ LDS Living article on Boye becoming a US citizen
  29. ^ "Singer now a citizen: Alex Boye performs at naturalization". Church News. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  30. ^ LDS Church Press release on "I'm A Mormon" campaign


External links[edit]