Meet Bonavega, The Rockstar That Got Up Close And Personal With Simon Cowell On ‘AGT’

Samantha Agate
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Bonavega America's Got TalentNBC

In one of the most shocking and energetic performances on this season of America’s Got Talent, rockstar Bonavega gave it everything he had to impress the judges. From shredding on an electric guitar to a super dramatic outfit reveal, he definitely has the wow factor. Let’s take a deep dive and learn more about this colorful character.

Bonavega Is A Product Of Creative Expression On ‘America’s Got Talent’

We were first introduced to the rocker as Brandon Wilbarger, a 31-year-old from Toledo, Ohio. He comes from a very small town and grew up with strict Christian parents. A lot of the music that he was interested in when he was younger was forbidden by his parents so he found it very hard to express himself. He would secretly listen to music under his covers at night. Before becoming the huge rockstar that he is today, he started off as a DJ. When he was 25, he finally realized that he needed to get out of Ohio if he wanted to pursue music for real. There were too many rules and restrictions limiting his creativity. The rockstar took all of his things, got in his car and drove across the country. Now, he lives in an apartment right in the middle of Hollywood which he recalls as being immensely different than Toledo.


Ever since his first-ever on-stage performance, he got the feeling that it was the perfect career for him to pursue. The persona of Bonavega came from that creative expression that he finally got to show without any restrictions. He has said in the past that he wanted a name that sounds “euro and trashy.” When he is Bonavega on stage he feels like the freest form of himself. On America’s Got Talent, he sang an original song that depicts the story of his life. During this performance, he revealed a silver sparkly outfit and even got up on the judge’s desk right in front of Simon Cowell’s very eyes. It was the pelvis thrusts in Simon’s face that really sold the performance. His performance was thrilling for the judges who loved his unique and exciting persona and strong vocals.

He Already Is Known As A Hidden Gem In The LA Music Scene

In a past interview, Bonavega described his music as “performance-based, theatrical pop music.” He gives off David Bowie vibes with his eccentric face makeup and mullet with the voice of a true rockstar. And, the America’s Got Talent stage is not the only place where he has shed his robe to reveal a glittery outfit. It’s apparently one of the things he often does on stage according to Music Connection. Bonavega has often worn thongs and fishnet stockings on stage during his performances in Los Angeles. The thing that is most important is that he finally gets to express himself when he performs and not live in a bubble anymore.

He is inspired by other artists like Queen and Led Zeppelin but at the end of the day, he truly is one of a kind. Harvard and Stone on Hollywood Boulevard is one of the places that he plays regular shows at and has acquired quite the fan base. So much so that he has his own merch! Would you rock a shirt with Bonavega’s face on it?

He already has some of his own successful original music on YouTube. The music video for his song “Stargazer” has over 50,000 views and is a provocative tune featuring him playing the electric guitar while a huge muscly man wearing only underwear looks on. Does it get any more unique than that? The best way to describe it is glam-rock. The feathered boa and disco ball coupled with the electric guitar and catchy tune in this video are a hit with fans of this unique artist.


We do not yet know if Bonavega will win this season of America’s Got Talent, but he definitely will go far and gain a ton of fans that can relate to his quirkiness. Uniqueness certainly takes you a long way in this competition just like we saw with Hans on season 13. Do you think Bonavega can win the competition?

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