'America's Got Talent' Season 15: Wordsmith Brandon Leake's powerful BLM performance moves fans to tears
The spoken word artist is making AGT history as the first act of this nature to be on the show, but he is also using his platform to send a powerful message to the world
'America's Got Talent' rounded out its Season 15 quarterfinals with a performance from Howie Mandel's Golden Buzzer act, spoken word artist Brandon Leake. The wordsmith left a lasting impression with his audition piece that recounted his experience of losing his baby sister. Already a fan-favorite, the artist returned this time with an even more powerful piece, this time highlighting the fear and horror Black parents are forced to go through in a country that is actively grappling with the reality of police brutality and racial violence.
Leake is a gifted artist, one who clearly knows how to use his words and one who manages to leave his audience spell-bound each time he performs. And this time was no different. Leake framed his experiences both as a son and a father to a newborn child within the larger issues of what Black people are currently dealing with. Naming George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and more, Leake powerfully called out to his audience, reminding them of the pain Black mothers were enduring, wondering if their son, their 'Pookie', would return home to them once they stepped out.
One viewer commented, "Mannnn #BrandonLeake just STUNNED me with his performance on @AGT tonight. I’ll admit it.... he made this old man cry." Another shared, "@Called_To_Move Amazing tonight. I was never ever moved by words before until I heard you tonight. I wish I could vote for you but Canada cannot. Thanks for this golden buzzer @howiemandel." And one said, "#BrandonLeake holy moly babe!! You absolutely hit a home run. A gentle crescendo or humor & reality...crashing up intensely and pounding on the door of comfort & love as the wave gently breaks across the sand of our emotions. You gave us everything."
#BrandonLeake holy moly babe!! You absolutely hit a home run. A gentle crescendo or humor & reality...crashing up intensely and pounding on the door of comfort & love as the wave gently breaks across the sand of our emotions. You gave us everything #AGT #goldbuzzer pic.twitter.com/MRl3K7EdS5— Kriss Morton (@cabingoddess) September 2, 2020
The framing of his experience evidently moved fans more than they expected to be moved during an AGT quarterfinals episode. "I don’t know how many people watch AGT. It’s not usually a place for culture or thinking. But watch #Brandonleake and just feel what he brings," tweeted one viewer.
I don’t know how many people watch agt. It’s not usually a place for culture or thinking. But watch #Brandonleake and just feel what he brings— simon saiz (@simalibim) September 2, 2020
Leake's message was heard loud and clear by viewers. One stated, "Brandon what a timely message! I’m glad you chose this platform to express what our nation is going through." Another shared, "#BrandonLeake words speak like a modern-day William Shakespeare in a society that has been silent too long. May he sing his beautiful words so loud that the world can hear!" One viewer said, "Moving poetical piece that made this mom feel his mom’s worries and fears for her son Bravo, Sir! Bravo! #BLM May peace and harmony always follow you!" And another shared, "POOKIE...#pookie #illalwaysbeyourpookie . . . EVERY BLACK WOMAN'S CRY. Come back home to mama."
Regardless of whether he ultimately wins the show or not, Leake can count himself a winner in the audience's books. Fans were soon calling his performance the "best act of the NIGHT!!!" But despite that, some still hope he does make it to the end of the show, stating, "Brandon Leake better win #AGT."