Black Spoken Word Artist Becomes 1st Ever Poet to Win America’s Got Talent

Brandon Leake performs on the America’s Got Talent season finale, September 23, 2020

Brandon Leake performs on the America’s Got Talent season finale, September 23, 2020
Screenshot: America’s Got Talent via YouTube

As a poet and spoken word artist myself, I can appreciate someone with a wicked pen game and great delivery.


In fact, I am not the only spoken word artist and poet on The Root staff.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Michael Harriot, our resident Wypipologist, master race-baiter and the last real Negus alive. Try not to cry as you watch him perform “The Top Secret Recipe for Aunt Phyllis’ Fried Chicken.”

And then there is Zack Linly, the champion roaster of racists everywhere. Listen to him speak on his experience with therapy.

I don’t have many videos performing spoken word, but I do have a video of myself performing the “For the D” challenge, so that’s what you get today.


On Wednesday night, 27-year-old Brandon Leake became the season 15 winner and the first-ever spoken word artist to take home the big prize on America’s Got Talent.

Leake is also the first spoken word artist to appear on the show, and during the two-hour season finale, he said “This is a huge win for the spoken-word community. For an art form that has not been on the mainstream ever to have a chance to win ‘America’s Got Talent’ is bigger than anything,” CNN reports.

For his win, Leake will receive $1 million and will headline a future AGT show in Las Vegas.


The boy got talent, OK?

Here’s a poem he performed for his daughter.

Here’s a poem he performed dedicated to his absent father.

Here’s one he did about Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Jacob Blake and George Floyd

Yes, America’s Got Talent—and that talent is Black people.

Good job, Brandon.

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