The 27-year-old from Stockton, California, is believed to be the show’s first spoken-word performer, period. He earned a Golden Buzzer from Howie Mandel during auditions for a searing ode to his late sister, and thrived in the NBC competition with pieces on the Black Lives Matter movement and his daughter.
The top finish earned Leake $1 million and a show he’ll headline in Las Vegas. Not bad for a poet.
On Wednesday, Leake waxed poetic about “America’s Got Talent.”
Country duo Broken Roots finished second and singer Cristina Rae was third.
Among the other finalists was Archie Williams, a singer who recently spent nearly 40 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Williams got a shoutout from Meghan Markle.
“I just wanted to let you know that we’ve been so moved by your story and we’ve been cheering you on every week, and it’s not just because we are partial to the name,” the Duchess of Sussex said, referring to her 1-year-old son Archie.