Prior to 2022, Drake Milligan was best known in the US for playing Elvis Presley in the TV series Sun Records. To a lesser extent, he was known for competing on American Idol, before dropping off as he decided he wasn’t ready for the platform. Being a country singer from Fort Worth, TX, he decided to move to Nashville to concentrate on his music.
Milligan’s big break came when he auditioned for the 2022 season of America’s Got Talent. As is typical on the show, Milligan gives a bit of background on himself. He speaks about his childhood fixation with being an Elvis impersonator and says that his epiphany came when he realised that he could perform his own songs. Take it away, Drake and band.
The band is tight, young, and enthusiastic and Milligan is a compelling frontman who unleashes a few Elvis moves. Drake Milligan deservedly gets a standing ovation from both the audience and the judges. After confirming that the song is an original, judge Howie Mandel captures the response: “I think that song is a hit. And I think that you’re a hit. You’re like the new Elvis of Country. I think you’re gonna break out from this particular song, this particular moment on this particular night”.
While AGT was still being broadcast, Milligan released a self-titled EP. For the semi-final of AGT Drake Milligan and band performed the original song Kiss Goodbye All Night from the EP. Before the AGT finale, both the song and the EP rose to #1 on the iTunes Country charts as well as the all-genre charts (singles & album charts). Meanwhile, Sounds Like Something I’d Do topped the video charts. Here is the band’s striking, attention-grabbing, semi-final version of Kiss Goodbye All Night.
In the end, Drake Milligan came 3rd on the AGT finale. Good Housekeeping responded that he was the frontrunner during the series and that viewers were “flabbergasted” when Milligan was placed third. Be that as it may, Drake Milligan received a massive popularity boost from his appearance on AGT. A day after the finale, Milligan released Dallas/Fort Worth, his debut LP of original songs. The album went to #1 spot on the iTunes Country Album ranking and made the Top 10 Billboard Country Albums.
Milligan has spoken of noticing a big bump in concert attendance as a result of his appearances on prime-time TV. He says that the whole time – from the audition to the live round and the finale – he was touring. “Me and the band, we were on the road that whole time. So as we would leave AGT and go back out on the road, and every time the shows kept on getting bigger and bigger, and they still are”. He says more audience members started turning up knowing his songs and singing along. He says this was a dream come true as he’d spent years dreaming about the day he could play his own songs with people knowing the songs and singing along.
Milligan emphasises that everything has changed. He’s headlining more, and the caliber of concert has risen. At the same time, he still has shows that he committed to before AGT. “It’s smaller clubs, a lot of free shows, and it’s kind of gotten chaotic at some of those places, because it’s like, they’re not made for the people that are showing up.” For example, a recent performance at a honky tonk venue attracted nearly 4,000 ticket sales.
In December 2022, Drake Milligan appeared on Country Music Televisions’s Listen Up Class of 2023, which recognises the “brightest stars in country music.” On January 30, 2023, Milligan and his band performed Sounds Like Something I’d Do, from his debut LP, on the prestigious Kelly Clarkson Show.
Drake Milligan continues to tour, and his popularity continues to rise. If you would like to see more from Drake Milligan, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook or Instagram. You can also visit their official website for more information.