10 Things You Didn’t Know About Alex Boyé
This year’s Pioneer Day concert guest artist, Alex Boyé, is known for his African-infused music videos and larger-than-life stage personality. But there is much more to Boyé than that—his music career stretches back to the early 1990s, when he was a backup dancer and boy band member in England.
In anticipation of the concerts, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, July 14 and 15, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center, here are 10 facts about the accomplished guest artist Alex Boyé:
1. Alex Became a U.S. Citizen on February 22, 2012
It is interesting to note that February 22 happens to be George Washington’s birthday. Boyé replaced Christopher Jackson, who famously played Washington in the hit musical Hamilton.
2. He Won the Grand Prize at the Hard Rock Rising Battle of the Bands in 2017
Boyé beat out more than 6,000 artists to win the grand prize, which includes performing during an NFL halftime show at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on December 11, 2017. In addition, he won a cash prize, a CD/DVD prize pack, a Fender instrument prize pack, and a professional music video shoot.
3. He Baptized His Mother into the LDS Church
Alex explained the “incredible news” of his mother’s conversion on his YouTube video blog channel. Boyé retells the story of how his mother met some sister missionaries on the street and went up to talk to them. When she told them her son belonged to the Church and that his name was Alex Boyé, the missionaries didn’t quite believe her. She invited them to her home, fed them, and showed them pictures of him as a child. The sister missionaries began teaching her the gospel, and the rest is history. Boyé flew to England to baptize his mom in late 2016. In a Facebook post he said, “So I baptized my mum in London today...Have been waiting for this moment for over 20 yrs. Cried like a baby. BEST. DAY. EVER!!!!”
4. He Was in a Boy Band Called Awesome
His band, Awesome, opened for NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys and sold over half a million albums in Europe. Boyé had grown frustrated with the style of life as a touring musician. In a Salt Lake Tribune article, he said, “I had this dream of being a musician, but it was taking me down a road that led somewhere I didn’t want to go.” At the height of the band’s success, Boyé decided to leave the band to focus on gospel-centered music.
5. He Once Gave Prince Charles a Book of Mormon
When a mission leader in his Sunday School class challenged each person to give away a Book of Mormon and come back and report on it, Boyé never expected the book would end up in the hands of Prince Charles. Later in the week, while performing at a charity for inner city kids called The Prince’s Trust, he and his bandmates were called to meet the prince by his helicopter. Boyé recalled reaching for the book: “Security went crazy, assuming I was reaching for something more dangerous. I managed to get the book from my pocket and extend my hand to give it to him. After looking at the book for what seemed like an eternity, he took it. He looked at it, brought it close to his chest, and said to me that he thought it would prove some interesting reading. ‘Yes it will,’ I responded. ‘Perhaps you could read it in the helicopter on your way home.’ He told me that he may just do that. And then he left.” Read the full story.
6. He Got Former Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney to Dance on Stage
You might not believe this story if you heard it, but there is video footage to back it up. During a young single adult conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Arizona, Boyé literally pulled Mitt Romney up onto the stage and taught him a dance move. Romney went along with it before quickly deciding he’d better leave it to the expert and exited the stage. Watch.
7. His Cover of “Let It Go” from Frozen Was YouTube’s Best Pop Cover of 2014
If you haven’t seen his Africanized cover of “Let It Go,” with One Voice Children’s Choir, it would be surprising, as nearly 90 million people have watched the ice-themed video, filmed at the Ice Castles in Midway, Utah. Watch the video.
8. He Performed on America’s Got Talent and the X-Factor in the Same Year
The summer of 2015 was an action-packed summer for Alex Boyé. The night after his audition for America’s Got Talent aired, he was on an airplane with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for an East Coast tour. Three months later he was in England, where he appeared on another talent show, the X-Factor.
9. He Was a Backup Dancer for George Michael in the 1990s
During the 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards, Boyé performed as a backup dancer to George Michael. When Michael passed away in 2016, Boyé said the experience made him realize that he wanted to be a performer. “It’s made me really want to create more because look what he left behind. Because his music is still in people’s hearts, then his legacy continues to grow and to live,” affirmed Boyé.
10. He Starred in 4 Films
Boyé’s films include Saturday’s Warrior, Saints and Soldiers: The Void, David and Golitah, and Drop Off. His music can also be heard in the soundtracks to Charly, The Dance, Baptists at Our Barbeque, and Church Ball.