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LDS musician Alex Boyé thrills judges on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Alex Boyé and his band audition on "America's Got Talent."
Alex Boyé and his band audition on "America's Got Talent."
Eric Liebowitz, NBC

Mormon musician Alex Boyé appeared on the 10th season of NBC’s hit variety show “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night, impressing all four judges and advancing to the second round of auditions.

Boyé, a British singer-songwriter known for his flamboyant African style of music, is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a former member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In recent years, the Utah resident has become a YouTube sensation with his popular covers of songs such as Disney’s “Let It Go” and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.”

On Tuesday night’s episode, Boyé performed his unique rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” with his band, Changing Lanes Express, in front of a packed ballroom audience. Boyé’s energy and enthusiasm quickly got the attention of the show’s four judges: Howie Mandel, Melanie “Mel B” Brown, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern.

Following the adrenaline-infused audition, Mandel kicked off the judges’ feedback with high praise: “I’ve got to be honest with you— in my six years here, this is my favorite music act ever. It really is!”

“That definitely woke everybody up,” Brown added. “You filled the whole room with your excitement and energy. Thank you for auditioning today. That was brilliant!”

“It was contagious,” Klum said. “You were rocking out onstage. It was awesome. … You guys are talented and so much fun.”

Finally, Stern said, “I could watch you all day. You’re terrific.”

The judges’ voting was unanimous, capped off by “an enthusiastic yes” from Stern, who later commented, “They’ve got a great sound. I’m very excited about them.”

Auditioners need a yes from at least three judges before moving on to the next round.

An emotional Boyé reflected on the moment by telling host Nick Cannon, “When you’re on the older side of things, you start thinking that maybe it’s not going to happen. And then you have a moment like this — it just opens up opportunities again. It’s priceless. It’s been an honor.”

Boyé and his band will get a chance to showcase their talent in front of even more viewers as “America’s Got Talent” continues to air on NBC Tuesdays at 7 p.m. MDT this summer.

Along with Boyé, other “AGT” contestants with ties to Utah and the LDS Church have included dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling (2010), Morgan County’s Fab Five clogging troupe (2009) and, most recently, musicians Josh Wright and Lexi Walker (2014).

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