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)
OriginSikeston, Missouri, U.S.
GenresOperatic pop
OccupationsSinger
Years active2008–present
LabelsDecca (2009-present)
Websitewww.nealeboyd.com
 
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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)
OriginSikeston, Missouri, U.S.
GenresOperatic pop
OccupationsSinger
Years active2008–present
LabelsDecca (2009-present)
Websitewww.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, known as "The Voice of Missouri", grew up in Sikeston, Missouri. He discovered operatic music in junior high school when his older brother was forced to do a school project involving classical music and brought home a CD of the Three Tenors. His brother had little appreciation for classical music, but Neal 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. A creative seed was planted, and Neal went on to study Speech Communications, Political Science, and Vocal Music at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO, and the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, graduating from both universities simultaneously in May 2001. 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 the UM-Columbia. This national win led to his solo debut at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall in March 2001. After teaching music for a year in his hometown of Sikeston, MO, he later attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA to study opera — which led to a lead role as the slave "York" in Michael Ching's World Premier Opera "Corps of Discovery, A Musical Journey," commissioned by MU.

Boyd was his high school's student body president in 1993 and 1994 and the president of the Student Senate at Southeast Missouri State University, where he was also a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He has a bachelor's degree in speech communications from Southeast Missouri State University, a Bachelor's degree in music from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. In 2001, he had planned to attend Yale University, but plans changed when he decided to study with another professor at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.[1]

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. While in college, Boyd interned at the capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. Various Missouri state and local officials nicknamed Boyd "The Voice of Missouri" due to his appearances at many prominent statewide events.[2]

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]

WeekThemeSong choiceOriginal artist/composerPerformance orderResult
AuditionInspiration"Nessun Dorma"PucciniFinalAdvanced
Vegas VerdictsClassical Singers"Unchained Melody"Todd DuncanAdvanced
Top 40Group 1"Somewhere"Leonard Bernstein10Advanced
Top 20Group 1
Heroes
"Mama"Il Divo7Advanced
Top 10Inspirations"All By Myself"Eric Carmen8Advanced
Top 5Finals"Nessun Dorma"Puccini3Winner

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."[3]

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.[4][5] 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.[6] He ran for a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2012,[7] but lost to Democrat Steve Hodges by 66 to 34%.[8] 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.[9]

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

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

YearAlbumPeak chart positionsCertifications
(sales threshold)
USUS ClassUS
Heat
Year End
Class
2009My American Dream [10]19531029

Singles[edit]

YearSinglePeakAlbum
US
2009"God Bless the USA"My American Dream

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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