‘America’s Got Talent’ Winner Dies After Battling Heart Condition
America's Got Talent Season 3 winner Neal E. Boyd, who took home the competition's crown in 2008, died Sunday (June 10) after a lengthy battle with a heart condition, according to TMZ. He was 42.
The site reports that Boyd, who died in his mother's house in Sikeston, Missouri, had been battling the condition for some time. Worse, he blacked out last year while driving as a result of the ailment and caused an accident that left him and his mother injured — they were both still recovering from related injuries.
Boyd, an opera singer, wowed the judges with his stunning voice, and beat out sibling violinists Nuttin' But Stringz, pianist Eli Mattson and fellow vocalist Queen Emily to claim the prize. He had been an insurance salesman before his win.
And just weeks after his victory, he told The Southeast Missourian that he was blinded by his sudden rise to fame, but insisted his heart would always remain at home.
"And this is one of these moments where I personally feel like my dreams have really started coming true. And you get excited about things. For instance I just opened up the newest issue of People Magazine ... and I'm in it. And I'm looking at it going "when did this happen, you know, when did I become this guy?" At the same time, I always come home to be around my mother and my friends and family down there in Sikeston, just to stay grounded. And that's really the one thing you gotta do, because you gotta remember where you came from, first of all, and where your dreams got started," he said.