CONTESTANTS: SEASON 5Michael Grimm
BORN: December 30, 1979
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas, NV
FINAL RESULT: 2010 Grand Prize Winner
Blue-eyed soul singer Michael Grimm became the fifth grand champion of America’s Got Talent on September 15, 2010. The 30 year-old native of Hancock County, Mississippi had been struggling to pay the bills as a lounge singer in Las Vegas before throwing his fedora into America’s biggest talent contest for the second time.
(In 2009, he didn’t even make it past the opening auditions!)
Michael pledged much of the $1 million prize money to provide for his grandparents who lost their home on Mississippi’s gulf coast to Hurricane Katrina.
“I do not have one friend or family member that did not lose their house and everything they owned – including my grandparents, who raised me,” he says.
“The house I was raised in was picked up by the surge. The birds my grandmother hung up on the ceiling drowned. Luckily, everyone in the family is alive, but we did lose some friends.”
Michael, who was raised by his grandparents, sealed the victory with a rousing Joe Cocker-like rendition of “When A Man Loves A Woman” – which judge Howie Mandel called his “best performance on this show yet”.
Michael began performing songs by George Jones and Travis Tritt in southern Mississippi bars and nightclubs at age 12. His grandmother – who played piano at a Baptist church built by her preacher father “would sit with her glass of soda and watch over me because she loved to listen to me sing,” he says.
At 16, Michael signed a recording contract and recorded his first album of “positive, country Christian” songs.
Michael proposed to his longtime girlfriend during an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, just days being crown champion of America’s Got Talent.
- Michael used a portion of his $1 million to buy a new house for his grandparents
Where Is He Now?
- Performing with America’s Got Talent Live Tour [November, 2010]