August 16, 1970 |
|Nationality||English and American|
|Spouse(s)||Julie Boyé (m. 2007)|
|Children||5 (+1 on the way)|
Alex Boyé (born August 16, 1970) is a British-American singer and actor.
He was born in London on August 16, 1970 to Nigerian parents. 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.
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. He first performed in public while serving as a missionary for the LDS Church in Bristol, England.
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.
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. 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.
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." Boyé followed that success with the role of Aminadab in the Lightstone Films production of David and Goliath. In 2005, Boyé received an award from the LDS Booksellers Association for his album Testimony. Boyé also appeared in a 2008 episode of the BYU produced TV show The Writers' Block.
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. He had two solo parts in the choir's album Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
In 2010, Boyé performed the single, "Born to Be a Scout", at the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. Boyé was signed to Deseret Book's Shadow Mountain label. In August 2010, he was a featured soloist in a concert connected at the re-dedication of a Catholic church in St. George, Utah.
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 he could close the rally.
Boyé was featured in a video by The Piano Guys, released in January 2012 as "Peponi", a cover of Coldplay's "Paradise" on YouTube. In early 2013 he did a cover of the Lumineers' "Ho Hey" that also generated a large number of YouTube hits.
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. A documentary DVD entitled Front Man telling Boyé's story has also been produced. In 2013, Boye released a song entitled "I Am Gold".
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. 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.
Boyé had a role in the 2014 film Saints and Soldiers: The Void. He also released a YouTube music video to promote the film. Boyé attained some acclaim for his cover of Taylor Swift's song "Shake It Off", 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".
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.
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 to be cast as The Heavenly Guide in the remake of the film Saturday's Warrior. It was released in Utah theaters on April 1, 2016 before expanding it to various other states in the upcoming weeks and months.
Boyé appears as a duet with Marie Osmond on her album Music Is Medicine that was released on 15 April 2016. The video for the song "Then There's You" was released on the video streaming site Vevo on March 27, 2016 and features the duo performing in a Las Vegas backdrop at Caesars Palace Hotel and the Paris Hotel.
In September 2016, it was announced that Boyé would be cast as Pastor Aiken in Drop Off, a family film set to premiere on DVD by October 2016.
Boyé met his wife, Julie, in an LDS singles ward and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 6 January 2007. As of June 2017, they are the parents of five children and are expecting another.
In 2009, Boyé began raising money to buy a house for a local refugee family with sales of his single, "Crazy for You."
On 22 February 2012, Boyé became a United States citizen in a ceremony at the Rose Wagner Theater in Salt Lake City. He was surprised when he was invited by the judge conducting the ceremony to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner".
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.
|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||The Heavenly Guide||Movie|
|Drop Off||Pastor Aiken||Movie|
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- Deseret News, 15 September 2013.
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- Petersen, Sarah (2 August 2014), "The Clean Cut: Alex Boye releases "Danny Boy" music video for Saints and Soldiers film", Deseret News
- Petersen, Sarah (11 November 2014), "The Clean Cut: Alex Boye releases cover of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off'", Deseret News, retrieved 15 June 2016
- Petersen, Sarah (16 December 2014), "The Clean Cut: Alex Boye releases original Christmas song", Deseret News, retrieved 15 June 2016
- Boyé awarded Governor's Mansion Artist Award, mormontabernaclechoir.org; accessed 15 June 2016.
- Saturday's Warrior details, DeseretNews.com; accessed 15 June 2016.
- "Baba Yetu", DeseretNews.com; accessed 15 June 2016.
- "Famous Mormons in Music and Entertainment". 22 June 2012.
- McClure, Emily (28 February 2012). "Alex Boye's American dream comes true with U.S. citizenship". Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Boyé receives worldwide feedback from Book of Mormon challenge, DeseretNews.com, 22 May 2012.
- Sheahan, Nicole (11 December 2009). "Alex Boye: Being the Change — Inside Mormon Music". Deseret News. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
- LDS Living article on Boye becoming a US citizen, ldsliving.com; accessed 15 June 2016.
- "Singer now a citizen: Alex Boye performs at naturalization". Church News. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
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- Ackerman, Tori (2 December 2010), "From boy band to Mo-Tab, Boye records Christmas album", The Daily Universe, BYU
- Burger, David (24 January 2011), "MoTab's Alex Boye subject of doc at LDS Film Festival", Salt Lake Tribune
- Patten, David A. (24 December 2011), "Despairing Singer Finds Destiny at Glenn Beck Rally", newsmax.com, Newsmax Media
- Somers, Liz (7 March 2010), "Arvada "Soul Food" features Mormon Choir soloist", Denver Post
- Young, Michael (October 2010), "Alex Boyé", Mormon Artist (12)
- "Alex Boye", Artists, Mormons in Music/More Good Foundation
- "Alex Boye: LDS Music World presents the music of LDS artist Alex Boye", ldsmusicworld.com, Jefferson Fairbanks, archived from the original on 29 November 2009
- Boye entry at Discogs
- "Alex Boye' from Mormon Tabernacle Choir Entertains at Hyde Park Stake Institute Graduation", News from England, LDS Church
- Official website
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- Peponi, an African-stylized cover of Coldplay's Paradise with Alex Boyé, Jon Schmidt, and Steven Sharp Nelson, on YouTube
- Alex Boye performs the national anthem after becoming a U.S. Citizen on YouTube