Meet 'AGT' Season 17's Drake Milligan, the "New Elvis of Country" — According to Judge Howie Mandel

Leila Kozma - Author
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Aug. 10 2022, Published 9:20 a.m. ET

24-year-old Drake Milligan delivered an explosive performance in Season 17, Episode 11 of America's Got Talent, which promptly earned him rave reviews. The Fort Worth native sang an original song titled "Kiss Goodbye All Night," instantly enamouring the judges and the audience members. What's there to know about Drake? What does the future hold for the country singer and Elvis impersonator?

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Drake Milligan knocked it out of the park on 'AGT.'

Drake received high praise from Sofía Vergara, who described the performance as "perfection," telling Drake he is the "whole package." Howie Mandel was just as enthusiastic, predicting that "Kiss Goodbye All Night" is bound to make rank high on the country charts.

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Simon Cowell called Drake "the real deal," applauding him for competing on AGT after his self-titled EP has already landed at No. 1 on the iTunes Country Album chart. Heidi Klum said that Drake had "star power" and "IT factor" "sprinkled all over [him]".

Drake has already garnered considerable fame thanks to his work as a singer and Elvis impersonator. He played the King in a 2014 short titled Nobody and a 2017 TV series titled Sun Records. In the latter, he starred alongside Chad Michael Murray, Margaret Anne Florence, and Keir O'Donnell.

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As a singer, he released his first EP in 2021. Comprised of five songs, "Over Drinkin' Under Thinkin," "Don't Look Down," "Kiss Goodbye All Night," "She," and "Sounds Like Something I'd Do." Since then he has also released music videos for "Cowgirl For Christmas" and "Dreamsville."

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Drake performed "Sounds Like Something I'd Do" on Season 17, Episode 2 of 'AGT.'

Drake was born and raised in Texas. His father runs a scrapyard, his mother is a veterinarian. "Pretty country household," Drake said in a clip on AGT. Growing up, he participated in hunting and fishing.

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He took up an active interest in Elvis at an extraordinarily young age. "When I was about 7, I was out eating with my family, and there was an Elvis impersonator at the restaurant, and I was enthralled. And that's where I decided I wanted to be like Elvis."

Drake moved to Nashville, Tenn., during his senior year in high school. He and his band have done some touring — which helped them gain more experience with life performing.

"I've been watching AGT since I was a kid, and I really just dreamed as a kid of being up on that stage," Drake said.

As he told the judges, he sees AGT as the modern-day equivalent of the Ed Sullivan Show, the program on which Elvis and the Beatles made their television debut. Drake's charisma and immense talent helped him win over the crowds. It was this performance that compelled Howie to describe Drake as the "new Elvis of country."

"I think you're going to break out from this particular song, this particular moment, this particular night," Howie told Drake.

"I think this performance should make a difference to what you're doing because people are going to like you. The song was really, really good as well. It was really authentic," Simon said. "That's what I liked about it."

Catch new episodes of AGT every Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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