‘AGT’ Winner Brandon Leake Submits Spoken Word Album for Grammy Consideration
America’s Got Talent Season 15 winner Brandon Leake has submitted his spoken word album Family Affair for consideration in the upcoming Grammy nominations. He called the special his “crowning achievement to date” in an Instagram announcement.
Brandon Leake Submits Album to the Grammys
Leake’s Family Affair aired as a CW special earlier this year, featuring several original spoken word poems about his family, including tributes to his mother and his late sister. The poet announced on Instagram that he’s submitting it for Grammy consideration.
“This album is a hallmark seal on one of Spoken Word Poetry’s most defining moments, the first nationally televised solo spoken word special,” Leake wrote. “This album is a commemoration of this iconic moment and just how far spoken word not only has come but still has to go.”
Leake’s previous album with Black Chakra, titled Level, was under consideration for a Grammy last year, but it wasn’t nominated. The Best Spoken Word Album Grammy has become dominated by audiobooks over the years, recently being won by public figures such as Stephen Colbert and Michelle Obama.
Some poets such as Leake have been trying to take the category back by submitting their work for consideration. As poet Kelsey Bigelow said in a 2021 interview, “The Grammys want to give us our category, but we’re just not submitting.”
Leake Is the First Spoken Word Poet on ‘AGT’
In 2020, Brandon Leake became the first spoken word poet to compete on America’s Got Talent. His audition earned the Golden Buzzer from judge Howie Mandel, and he went on to win the show with his honest and emotional performances.
Leake also released his debut poetry collection, titled Unraveling, earlier this year. As he wrote about the book, “Some of them are poems that I’m afraid for the world to see, but I know they will be the healing somebody else needs.”