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Drake Milligan instantly won over America’s Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara with his energetic audition. AGT fans were just as captivated by the country music singer from Fort Worth, Texas, who was immediately dubbed a breakout star on the NBC singing competition show. Now, the rising artist is on hoping to make it to the AGT finals. While the votes continue to get counted, there's more to know about Drake than what he shared on stage.
During the latest AGT season 17 audition round, the 23-year-old vocalist performed the original single “Sounds Like Something I'd Do” from his self-titled EP released in July 2021. After revealing that he started out his music career as an Elvis Presley impersonator, Drake tried out using his own voice and style alongside his band.
Reacting to his audition, AGT fans wasted no time sharing compliments. “They were AMAZING!!!!!!!! I didn't feel like I was watching AGT I felt like I was watching someone already famous!!!!!! That song was so [freaking] GOOD!!!!!!!” one person wrote on YouTube. “He sounds like a professional singer [to be honest]. Amazing voice and personality!!! A superstar,” another added.
That inkling isn’t too far off base as one different fan shared. “Drake is no stranger to the stage. He’s been performing for years now. He has played Elvis Presley on a CMT show too,” a follower commented. “He was also on American Idol in 2018 but quit the show early,” someone else chimed in.
That’s right — before getting up on the AGT stage, the singer starred in the Country Music Television (CMT) show Sun Records, which aired in 2017. The eight-episode series was inspired by the musical Million Dollar Quartet and featured Drake as Elvis. Sun Records gives a closer look at founder Sam Phillips as he discovers greats to record at his Sun Studio, including Elvis and Johnny Cash.
As for his time on American Idol, it’s also true. Drake appeared in ABC's American Idol season 1 (overall 16th season) in 2018 and performed “You Look So Good In Love” by George Strait. The then-19-year-old wowed Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, earning a ticket to Hollywood.
“I know Elvis’s music like the back of my hand. I love it but what I feel like is my calling is country music. I’m a country boy at heart,” he said on America's Got Talent. “I haven’t stepped in front of too many people as myself. It’s always been this kind of disguise as Elvis. Stepping in front of these celebrity judges is a really vulnerable side of me.”
“I’ve had plenty of recognition as Elvis but to go up and sing in my own voice and for people at that caliber to love it is amazing,” he said afterward.
While he seemed like a contestant on American Idol that would go far, the rest of Drake’s journey wasn’t shown because he left the competition. In an Instagram post from April 1, 2018, he explained his reasoning.
“Been getting a lot of questions about no longer appearing on American Idol after my audition, just thought I'd let y'all know what's goin' on!” he wrote. “After my audition I decided that I wasn't quite ready for that platform yet, and that it would be a better step for me to move to Nashville and focus on my music first!”
He continued: “It was a very tough decision, and it in no way reflects my experience during the audition process ... Everyone on the show was very kind and I feel absolutely blessed and gracious to have been a part of it! Wishing the best of luck to all the talented folks competing on the show. I will be tuning in all season and I hope y'all do the same!”
Perhaps, this time around he's ready to go all the way and claim the win!
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