Pictured (L-R) in Ocean Way’s Studio B: Greg Leisz, Kevin Hunter, Scott Moore, Ian McLagan, Bill Medley, Michael Grimm, Don Was, Howard Willing, Waddy Wachtel, Davey Faragher, and Kenny Aronoff. Photo by David Goggin
Hollywood, CA (June 20, 2011)—Last year’s America’s Got Talent winner, singer/songwriter Michael Grimm, chose Don Was to produce his debut album, which entered the Billboard 200 at #13.
Joining Grimm and producer Don Was at Ocean Way were Greg Leisz, steel guitar; Kevin Hunter, guitar; Scott Moore, assistant engineer; Ian McLagan, keyboards; Bill Medley, guest vocalist; Howard Willing, recording engineer; Waddy Wachtel, guitar; Davey Faragher, bass; and Kenny Aronoff, drums.
Raised in Waveland, Mississippi, the Southern Soul singer won a $1 million annuity and in addition to his recording career, he plans to use the money to build his grandparents a new house.
Grimm auditioned in Los Angeles for the fifth season of America’s Got Talent, aired on June 1, 2010. His audition received praise from all three judges, advancing him to Vegas Week. During Vegas week, his performance of “Try a Little Tenderness” advanced him to the quarterfinals.
His quarterfinal performance, “Tired of Being Alone,” was once again praised, and advanced to the semifinals. Earlier in the show, Sharon Osbourne commented that her husband Ozzy Osbourne was rooting for Grimm. He performed “You Can Leave Your Hat On” during the semifinals, while recovering from a dehydration-related illness. Despite the illness, he managed to deliver a performance that was once again praised by the judges, and he advanced to the finals.
After performing “Let’s Stay Together” in the Top 10 without his guitar, he advanced to the Top 4. In the finale on September 14, 2010, he performed “When a Man Loves a Woman” and the following day, it was revealed that Grimm had won the show.