With his soulful voice and earthy, Southern manner, Michael Grimm charmed millions of viewers as a contestant on Season Five of NBC’s popular America’s Got Talent. Parlaying his substantial singer-songwriter appeal into a first-place finish, Michael took home the one-million-dollar prize and headlined the first-ever national “America’s Got Talent Tour.” Following that, he toured with the legendary Stevie Nicks and Heart, playing to arenas of 20,000.
In the spring of 2011, Michael debuted his first major label release, the self-titled Michael Grimm. Working with Grammy-award winning producer Don Was (The Rolling Stones, Elton John, B.B.King), Michael released an album that had his fans purchasing it in droves. “Oh, it’s swampy,” he said. “It’s Michael Grimm leaving his hat on. This is me. It’s the way I’ve always been since I was a teenager, wearing hats and singing the music that I love to sing.”
The album featured some legendary talent, including Ann Wilson (Heart), Ian McLagan (Faces, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer), Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello, Cracker) and Greg Leisz (Avenged Sevenfold, The Eagles). Thirty+ Grammy-nominated albums, Kenny Aronoff played drums, with the legendary Waddy Wachtel on guitar. The album joined several previous self-releases by Michael, all available on MichaelGrimmMusic.com, at CDBaby.com, and on iTunes.
Michael was raised by his grandmother, who played country classics from the likes of Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, George Jones, and Ray Price. When he was 11, he started playing for hat tips at a local club. At 17, he released “John Wayne and Jesus, ” which garnered him the first-ever Country Christian Music Association (CCMA) “Star of Tomorrow” Covenant Award.
At age 21, after transitioning to blue-eyed soul, Michael took a job performing at Las Vegas' “Legends in Concert” and moved to Las Vegas to work with some of music’s biggest producers and stars. Then, in 2005, his life was changed forever when Hurricane Katrina decimated his hometown of Waveland and forced his grandparents into a FEMA trailer. All he wanted to do was find a way to help them.
Enter America’s Got Talent. In the spring of 2010, Michael auditioned for the show, which debuted in June. His tremendous talent and genuine emotion over his grandparents' loss (he promised to build them a home if he won) resonated with 4 million+ viewers, who voted him the winner in the most talented year ever, after his roof-raising rendition of “When A Man Loves A Woman.” Immediately, despite his humble and self-taught roots, a fedora-wearing super-star was born.
Following his win and the release of his debut major label CD, which charted at #14 on Billboard, Michael venues across America but kept his home in Las Vegas. Among many others, he headlined the Jimmy Rodgers Festival in Meridian, Mississippi, Rockin’ the Bay in Gulfort, and the Harborfest in Bay St. Louis, and became the first-ever resident headliner at the popular Ovation Showroom at Green Valley Ranch Resort in Las Vegas (transitioning from there to Rocks at the Red Rock Resort in late 2012).
In June 2012, in response to fans wanting more recorded music, Michael self-released a fun, summer CD entitled Gumbo. He’s now in development on a big production show to be called Michael Grimm – Fairy Tales, which he hopes to debut in 2013. He’s also been invited to go to China later this summer, where he’ll perform with the winner of China’s The Voice to a TV audience of 150+ million.