'America's Got Talent' Winners: Where Are They Now?

NBC's reality competition series America's Got Talent made its debut in 2006, attracting contestants from all walks of life. From Terry Fator to Grace VanderWaal, here's what AGT winners have been up to following their victories

01 of 17

Season 1: Bianca Ryan

Bianca Ryan America's Got Talent

Bianca Ryan was the first-ever winner of America's Got Talent in 2006. At just 11 years old at the time of her audition, the singer blew the judges away with her rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" by Jennifer Hudson.

Since nabbing the $1 million dollar prize, Ryan underwent surgery due to paralyzed vocal cords, resulting in a 10-year hiatus from singing.

After her recovery, Ryan returned to the stage to compete on America's Got Talent: The Champions in 2020. She's also toured and performed at various venues for events.

She sang "The National Anthem" at Madison Square Garden in New York City ahead of Jake Paul's boxing match in 2022.

The singer continues to create and release music — often sharing her work on Spotify and social media.

02 of 17

Season 2: Terry Fator

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Finals Round 2" -- Aired 8/7/07 -- Pictured: Terry Fator -- Photo by: Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank
Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Terry Fator was the season 2 winner of AGT in 2007. His knack for ventriloquism combined with his spot-on singing impressions wowed viewers, resulting in Fator earning the grand prize.

Since his stint on the competition series, the ventriloquist has returned to the AGT stage numerous times as a guest act over the years. In addition, he's had residencies at the Las Vegas Hilton and The Mirage, performing in front of millions.

Since 2021, Fator and his puppet friends headlined a new show titled Who's the Dummy Now? at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Vegas.

However, he's freed up his schedule to compete on AGT: All-Stars a 2023 extension of the series — and told PEOPLE he "felt so at home onstage in front of the judges again."

03 of 17

Season 3: Neal E. Boyd

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Season 3 Live Finale -- Pictured: Neal E. Boyd, Winner -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Neal E. Boyd was the season 3 winner of AGT in 2008. The opera singer left the crowd on their feet during his audition when he sang a powerful rendition of Puccini's "Nessun Dorma."

Since winning the grand prize at the end of the competition and earning a headlining spot at MGM's Grand Garden Arena in Vegas, Boyd released his album My American Dream in 2009 — and even ran twice for Missouri House of Representatives!

Sadly, Boyd died in 2018 at the age of 42.

"We are very saddened to hear that one of our AGT family members, Neal E. Boyd, has passed away," AGT shared in a statement on Instagram following his death. "Our hearts are with Neal's loved ones during this difficult time.

04 of 17

Season 4: Kevin Skinner

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Episode 425 -- Pictured: Kevin Skinner -- NBC Photo: Trae Patton America's Got Talent © NBC Universal, Inc. -- FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- NOT FOR RESALE -- DO NOT ARCHIVE Season:4 NUP_136761_1325 Episodic
Trae Patton/NBC

Kevin Skinner was the season 4 winner of AGT in 2009. The country singer impressed the judges and crowd with his shocking audition of Garth Brooks' "If Tomorrow Never Comes."

Not long after crushing the competition and headlining a show at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Vegas, the chicken catcher–turned–country star released his album Long Ride in 2010.

Since then, the country musician has mostly remained out of the public eye, with very little known about his current life.

05 of 17

Season 5: Michael Grimm

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Las Vegas" Episode 511 -- Pictured: Michael Grimm -- Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank
Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Michael Grimm was the season 5 winner of AGT in 2010. The blues guitarist and singer's seamless audition of his original song, "You Don't Know Me," left the judges speechless while the crowd roared.

Since clinching the win, Grimm headlined the first-ever AGT tour. He also returned to the stage as a guest act and participated on AGT: The Champions season 2 in 2020, among releasing several albums in between those stints.

Grimm continues to travel and release music, including 2022's The Red Album. In 2023, he hit the road for his summer tour, with stops in Vegas, Texas, Alaska, Arizona and more.

06 of 17

Season 6: Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Episode 627 -- Pictured: Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. -- Photo by: Lewis Jacobs/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
Lewis Jacobs/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. was the season 6 winner of AGT in 2011. After receiving a "Yes" from all three judges following his show-stopping performance of Bono and Frank Sinatra's "I've Got You Under My Skin," the singer went on to dominate the competition.

Following his win, Murphy landed a headlining show at Caesar's Palace in Vegas and released his debut album, That's Life, in 2011, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard jazz charts.

The singer continues to create music and perform all over the world: In 2022, he sang at the World Expo in Dubai. Murphy also uses his platform to give back, donating to charities and offering scholarship opportunities.

07 of 17

Season 7: Olate Dogs

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Episode 720 -- Pictured: Olate Dogs -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Father-son duo Richard and Nicholas Olate were the season 7 winners of AGT in 2012. But it wasn't just them alone! They were joined by their pups to form an unforgettable group known as the "Olate Dogs."

The barking bunch performed unbelievable tricks in sync with music and choreography, leading to their victory.

Since securing the $1 million dollar prize and headlining The Palazzo in Vegas, the Olate Dogs went on to perform around the country. They also partnered with the Humane Society in 2014, as reported by Fox19.

After taking their Circus Royal Spectacular show on the road, they've kept a low profile since 2018 — the last time the group posted on Instagram.

08 of 17

Season 8: Kenichi Ebina

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Episode 808 -- Pictured: Kenichi Ebina -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Kenichi Ebina was the season 8 winner of AGT in 2013. The dancer dazzled the judges and left the audience's jaws on the ground with his captivating, Matrix-like audition.

After out-dancing the competition and winning the show, including a headlining act in Vegas, Ebina returned to the stage to compete in AGT: The Champions in 2019.

Since then, the dancer has gone on to perform around the world, from Japan to Dubai. He continues to put on shows around the country in addition to teaching and choreographing.

09 of 17

Season 9: Mat Franco

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Judgement Week -- Pictured: Mat Franco -- (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Eric Liebowitz/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Mat Franco was the season 9 winner of AGT in 2014. He blew the judges' and audience's minds with his unbelievable magic, unexplainable illusions and masterful card tricks.

Since becoming the first magician to win the competition, he's had a residency at The LINQ Hotel in Vegas since 2015, in addition to making guest appearances on AGT over the years.

While he continues to deceive audiences live, he also brings the magic to viewers from afar on his Instagram. However, Franco performed the ultimate trick in 2023: He and his wife, Tianna Scartabello, welcomed their first child on Jan. 6.

10 of 17

Season 10: Paul Zerdin

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Los Angeles Auditions" Dolby Theater -- Pictured: Paul Zerdin -- (Photo by: Isabella Vosmikova/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Isabella Vosmikova/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Paul Zerdin was the season 10 winner of AGT in 2015. The ventriloquist cracked spectators up with his comedic back-and-forth banter with his little puppet pal.

Since becoming the first contestant to receive the coveted Golden Buzzer from one of the judges — his was the first season it was introduced on the show — Zerdin went on to nab the $1 million dollar prize and slot a headlining show in Vegas.

While Zerdin returned to the competition to participate on AGT: The Champions in 2019, the ventriloquist frequently performs in his native United Kingdom.

11 of 17

Season 11: Grace VanderWaal

Trae Patton/NBC

Grace VanderWaal was the season 11 winner of AGT in 2016. At 12 years old, the original artist stole the hearts of viewers (and Taylor Swift!) with her ukulele skills, sweet voice and powerful lyrics.

After the artist received a Golden Buzzer for her audition, she forged through the competition, claiming the grand prize and a headlining show in Vegas.

After her time on the show, she released her debut album, Just the Beginning, in 2017. Vanderwaal has also pursued other ventures, signing with IMG models and starring in films like the Disney+ original Stargirl and its 2022 sequel, Hollywood Stargirl, as well as Francis Ford Coppola's upcoming feature, Megalopolis.

12 of 17

Season 12: Darci Lynne Farmer

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Auditions Pasadena Civic Auditorium -- Pictured: Darci Lynne -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty

Darci Lynne Farmer was the season 12 winner of AGT in 2017. She wowed the judges and viewers in more ways than one: First, with her jaw-dropping ventriloquism and, second, with her singing voice.

The singing puppeteer received the Golden Buzzer and pushed through the competition to victory. She also placed second on AGT: The Champions two years later and did a guest performance alongside Fator during AGT's season 17 finale in 2022.

Since becoming the first female ventriloquist to win AGT, Farmer has toured across the United States performing alongside her quirky band of puppet friends.

Farmer has also tried her hand at acting, appearing in a few films and TV shows like the 2022 movie A Cowgirl's Song and the Fancy Nancy series.

13 of 17

Season 13: Shin Lim

America's Got Talent - Season 13
Trae Patton/NBC

Shin Lim was the season 13 winner of AGT in 2018. The magician boggled audiences with his card tricks and fantastical illusions.

Not only did Lim snag the victory in 2018, but he also became the first person to win the competition twice after claiming victory on AGT: The Champions the following year.

Since his time on AGT, the magician has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and more.

Lim has a residency at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, where he continues to showcase his remarkable talent.

14 of 17

Season 14: Kodi Lee

Kodi Lee
Trae Patton/NBC

Kodi Lee was the season 14 winner of AGT in 2019. The talented musician, who is blind and autistic, captured the hearts of America with his piano skills and vocal expertise.

After becoming the fourth contestant to receive the Golden Buzzer — this time from former judge Gabrielle Union — Lee went on to win the entire competition, earning the $1 million dollar prize and a headlining show in Vegas.

He continues to play for audiences at AGT's live show at the Luxor in Vegas.

15 of 17

Season 15: Brandon Leake

Brandon Leake
Trae Patton/NBC

Brandon Leake was the season 15 winner of AGT in 2020. The spoken word poet moved the audience with his emotion and meaningful words.

Since winning the grand prize, a new car, and a show in Vegas, Leake released Unraveling, a published collection of deeply moving poems.

He continues to showcase his talent and shares his stories in AGT's live Vegas residency show.

16 of 17

Season 16: Dustin Tavella


Dustin Tavella was the season 16 winner of AGT in 2021. He not only stunned audiences with his magic but captivated them through his engaging storytelling.

Since winning the prize trifecta after dominating the competition, Tavella is headlining AGT's Luxor residency in Vegas.

17 of 17

Season 17: The Mayyas

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT -- “Finale Results” Episode 1720 -- Pictured: Mayyas -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
The Mayyas. Trae Patton/NBC

The Mayyas, a Lebanese female dance troupe, instantly captured audiences with their audition — which earned Sofía Vergara's Golden Buzzer — and continued to impress week after week with their mesmerizing routines.

Since taking the $1 million dollar prize, The Mayyas headline AGT's Luxor residency in Vegas. In January 2023, the group joined Beyoncé for a breathtaking private concert at the Atlantis The Royal grand resort in Dubai, performing in front of famous faces like Kendall Jenner, Chlöe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Rebel Wilson and more.

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