Neal E. Boyd of Sikeston has already won lots of American votes. Enough to win the 2008 season of America's Got Talent, when he wowed audiences with his pop opera skills.
Before finding reality-show fame, Boyd was nicknamed "The Voice of Missouri" for his performances at political events, from the 2000 funeral of Missouri governor Mel Carnahan to the 2004 inauguration of Governor Matt Blunt. He's also performed for every president since George H.W. Bush.
Considering he studied political science, speech communication and vocal music, earning degrees from both Southeast Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia, it makes sense that Boyd would parlay his vocal fame into politics. This week Boyd announced his plans to run as a Republican for the Missouri House of Representatives.
Proud to be an American, indeed. Must admit, he's better than Missouri's other singing politician, John Ashcroft. But how does he compare to other musicians-turned-politicos?
8. As the twentieth anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind looms, and Dave Grohl keeps touring and touring with Foo Fighters, ever wonder what happened to that tall, gangly Nirvana guy who hit himself in the head with his bass at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards? That's Krist Novoselic, and he was involved in politics before his band's grisly demise. As early as 1992, he worked with the Washington Music Industry Coalition to fight bills in Washington State that threatened songwriters' First Amendment rights and the rights of minors to attend shows. Currently he serves as state committeeman, serves on the board of directors for FairVote, attends law school and has considered runs for lieutenant governor of Washington and county clerk of Wahkiakum County. In October 2004 he published Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy!
7. Author. Musician. Satirist. Politician. Why not? It works for Kinky Friedman. The Texan's recording career spans some 35 years. Politically, he's floundered for more than 25 years, starting with a failed 1985 bid to serve as justice of the peace in Kerrville, Texas. In 2006 he was one of six candidates vying for the Texas gubernatorial office. He came in fourth place. He briefly ran for the office again n 2009, but dropped out. A year later he ran for Texas agriculture commissioner but lost to a rancher. He's already thrown his support behind 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.
6.Wyclef Jean's political leanings started before his thwarted attempt to run for the Haitian presidency after his home country was devastated by a 2010 earthquake. Prior to that he put his politics into his lyrics.
5.Sonny Bono might not have been the most musically or visually gifted half of Sonny and Cher, but he made up for it in political savvy. He didn't get interested in politics until he encountered red tape in opening a restaurant in Palm Springs, California, after his music career ended. His frustration led to serving as the city's mayor from 1988 to 1992. That year he lost a bid for a spot on the Republican ballot for a United States House of Representatives seat but was successful in winning the office two years later. He worked in Congress to reform copyright laws for songwriters, which was passed after his 1998 death as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Bono remains the only member of Congress to have scored a Billboard No. 1 pop single.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.