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Michael Grimm, 2010 ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner, opening for Stevie Nicks at Chastain August 17

CREDIT: NBC

CREDIT: NBC

Michael Grimm, the winner of “America’s Got Talent,” will be opening tonight for Stevie Nicks at Chastain.

He surprisingly beat out Jackie Evancho, the heralded 11-year-old opera singer who recently sold out Woodruff Arts Center.  In many ways, Grimm was the Kris Allen to Jackie’s Adam Lambert. The bluesy singer-songwriter slid in there with low-key confidence and likability, getting more votes than his more theatrical counterpart in the end.

“I spoke with Jackie’s father a few days ago,” he said in an interview last week. “I’d love to do a song with her. She’s an outstanding vocalist.”

He thinks maybe 10 percent of the Nicks’ audience might know who he is. “That’s why I’m there,” he said. “To try to get more fans. People do say, ‘Hey! You’re that guy from ‘America’s Got Talent’ Some think it’s ‘American Idol’! The way I see it, in due time, if I’m blessed to get my songs out there, get another record album, people will get to know me aside from the show.”

Then again, AGT drew 12 to 15 million viewers a week. He said it opened doors for him he wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. And he pocketed a cool $1 million, much of which went to giving his grandma a home. “It’s almost finished,” he said. “I just had hte garage door put in.”

The record label Epic also helped hook him up with Don Was, the producer behind a raft of huge albums by the likes of Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, the Rolling Stones and the B-52s. “He heard of me through Rodney Crowell,” he said. “He’s a one -of-a-kind characdter. I never met someone like him before. He always has that big round hat, that big beard and dreadlocks. He’s very at peace, has very positive energy. Everyone enjoys working with him.”

“This is the best thing I’ve ever recorded,” he added. “I’m very proud of it. He let me do what I do.”

He opened for Heart for a few dates before ‘Got Talent,” though at that time, he did an acoustic set. Now he can afford a full band. And he got Ann Wilson to sing a song with him on his album. He also did a duet with Georgia native Travis Tritt.

He actually has a Nicks story. He met her before a Fleetwood Mac gig six years ago. She actually had heard of him and he invited Nicks to a showcase concert in a couple of months. Much to his shock, she showed up. He was so nervous, he said his throat tightened up. Afterwards, she offered him her vocal coach’s number.

Grimm said over the years, he struggled to get a label deal. He played lounges in Vegas.  He decided to try out for AGT just to get some exposure. He ended up winning. “It feels like I’ve entered some sort of alternative reality. In the end, it doesn’t seem real.”

IN CONCERT
Stevie Nicks with opener Michael Grimm

Chastain Park Amphitheatre

8 p.m. August 17

$57 to $94.40

Livenation.com


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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

10 comments Add your comment

HelpMeRodna

August 17th, 2011
9:41 pm

So basically: if you show up late….you won’t miss anything!

Rodna

August 17th, 2011
10:59 pm

@HelpMeRodna Thanks for that asinine comment. Goes to show how much help you REALLY need. BTW stop stalking me.

admiral

August 18th, 2011
12:28 am

Hey, I’ve gotta say…this kid was pretty good tonight. Wish he had played a couple more original tunes, though….lots of covers. But a great voice, actually.

Rickster

August 18th, 2011
12:33 pm

He didn’t pocket a “cool $1 million. The prize is spread out over 40 years – or $25,000 a year. He (hopefully) was smart enough to take the cash value and invest it.

Jan

August 18th, 2011
2:33 pm

Actually, I was not surprised that Michael won AGT. I knew how good Jackie was, but Michael is amazing as well. Both of them are so talented.

To “HelpmeRodna”, if you show up late, you will miss the best new talent out there. I went to the show in Houston, and Michael was fantastic. The most amazing song of all was “Stay With Me Baby”. Its great on his CD, but the emotion he sang that song with was even better live and it brought me to tears. Wow!!!

Before long Michael will have someone opening for him. I can’t wait for that to happen. He deserves all the success he can get. Such a genuinely nice guy and such an unbelivable voice!!

Susie

August 19th, 2011
7:03 pm

No. If you show up late you will miss everything.

Dianoris Marcano

August 19th, 2011
9:43 pm

Hermosa tus presentaciones cada día fuiste impecable, eres hermoso sencillo y humilde que dios bendiga a tus hermosos abuelos y a ti miles de éxito espero escuchar pronto tu disco desde Venezuela te apoyamos..Besos..

Dianoris Marcano

August 19th, 2011
9:44 pm

Hermosa tus presentaciones cada día fuiste impecable, eres hermoso sencillo y humilde que dios bendiga a tus hermosos abuelos y a ti miles de éxito espero escuchar pronto tu disco desde Venezuela te apoyamos..Besos.

sami harbi

September 2nd, 2011
2:50 pm

Harvey

September 10th, 2011
2:48 am

Grimm won because he got the most votes? Give your heads a shake. People point out his “fake” reaction to winning. Forget his reaction, look at hers. For the whole show the kids has been put on a pedestal, told she’s IS a super star while the others are JUST potential stars. She all over the news, and knows she’s the favorite. Little 10yo kid like that should have been ready to burst at seams from all the excitement. But is completely calm while waiting the announce, suffers a crushing defeat, and what is her reaction? basically…awww, oh well. She knew what it was going to be while standing there waiting. So why? The general consensus is that she couldn’t commit to headlining a 26 stop agt tour due to conflicting commitments. If you need any more convincing, just look at what both have done since and compare that.