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The Heartbreaking Death Of ‘America’s Got Talent’ Winner Neal E. Boyd

Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate

America's Got Talent Neal E. Boyd

Several past winners of America’s Got Talent have gone on to become some of the most successful performers in the entertainment industry. But for season three winner Neal E. Boyd, his life was tragically cut short before he could get his big break and dominate the world of opera music.

Neal E. Boyd Won Season 3 Of ‘America’s Got Talent’

Neal declared that he came to America’s Got Talent for two reasons, to make his family happy and to sing opera. And he certainly did just that. When he was a kid he began listening to opera music when his brother brought home a Three Tenors CD and he was hooked from the start. Growing up in the small town of Sikeston Missouri, his mom did everything she could to provide for him and his siblings. They grew up in poverty but Neal had his sights set on becoming an opera singer.


After obtaining several college degrees, Neal won the Music Teachers National Association Vocal Collegiate Championship in 2000 which led to his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 2001. But that was only the beginning as he went on to audition for season three of America’s Got Talent. He was working as an insurance salesman during the time of his audition but little did he know that his life was going to change forever once he stepped onto the stage.

Neal stunned the judges during his performance of “Nessun Dorma” and they immediately told him that he was the frontrunner of the competition. It was no surprise that week after week, Neal delivered incredible performances of classic hits like “Unchained Melody” and “All By Myself” that were huge hits with the audience and the judges alike. There were a whopping 12.5 million people that tuned in to see Neal take home the crown as the winner of season three of America’s Got Talent. Everyone knew big things were coming Neal’s way after the $1 million win.

What Happened To Neal After Winning ‘AGT’?

He really showed a whole new side to the world of opera singing and went on to perform in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. He was signed to Decca Records and released the album My American Dream which debuted at number three on the Top Classical Albums Chart. Neal also performed on several talk shows and went on to headline a second show in Vegas with other America’s Got Talent performers. He even ran for office in Missouri because he was always heavily involved in his community.

But tragedy struck in January of 2017 when Neal got into a serious car accident with his mother Esther in Missouri. His car veered off the side of the road before it hit a tree and was sent into the air before hitting another tree. They were both in serious condition and it was revealed that Neal was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Neal was transported to different hospitals for weeks and even needed to go to physical therapy to learn how to walk again. “For somebody who is used to being able to travel all over the country and perform for people, to be that injured and not knowing if you’re ever (going to) walk again or talk again, let alone sing. That was terrifying,” he said in an interview with Fox.


Neal E. Boyd Tragically Passed Away In 2018

And through the tragedy, Neal said he was “looking forward to the next chapter.” In what is the most tragic ‘AGT’ winner story, Neal sadly passed away in June 2018 at the age of 42, due to heart and kidney failure and liver disease. Fans of Neal and everyone at America’s Got Talent was absolutely devastated. On an episode of ‘AGT: The Champion’s, Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts dedicated a performance to Neal which was very touching. Paul and Neal were good friends who went on a 10 city tour with each other before his death.

Although Neal’s life was cut way too short, his legacy lives on and he is certainly one of the best opera singers that has ever been on America’s Got Talent.


And if you’re curious about what happened to the other America’s Got Talent winners, check out this video where we take a deep dive and talk about what all of them are up to now.

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About the Author

Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate is the Talent Guru here at Talent Recap. Her work has been featured at The Blast. Samantha graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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