America’s Got Talent has a budding new Elvis Presley on their hands. Contestant Drake Milligan took to the stage Tuesday (June 7) and shared his personal background — including how Elvis inspired his career moves — before performing an original song of his for the judges.
In Milligan’s pre-stage interview, he explained that a chance encounter with an Elvis impersonator in his childhood was the catalyst for him getting into music at an early age.
“When I was about 7, I went out eating with my family, and there was an Elvis impersonator at the restaurant, and I was enthralled. I think that’s where I decided I wanted to be like Elvis,” he explained. “It was cute at first — I’d go putting on my jumpsuits, I was dyeing my hair black, but it probably wasn’t until one of the first times that I got on stage and sang one of my own songs and figured, ‘Man, this is something I could do, you know? I could pave my own way.'”
Once on stage, the 23-year-old spoke with Simon Cowell about being a signed country artist in Nashville. Cowell wondered why Milligan chose to come on the show, despite already having somewhat of a platform for his music. “Back in the day. Elvis had The Ed Sullivan Show and The Beatles too, and I see this kind of on the same scale of that, almost bigger, way bigger,” Milligan explained.
The 23-year-old, accompanied by his band, launched into his song “Sounds Like Something I’d Do” from his July 2021 self-titled EP. The singer charismatically sang the cheeky lyrics into the microphone, pausing at moments to shake his hips, shimmy his shoulders, and point at the crowd, who clapped along with him. “I ain’t the kind to settle down/ Or let myself get wrapped around/ Somebody’s finger, but if I had you/ Baby, sounds like somethin’ I’d do,” Milligan sang on the chorus.
“I think that song is a hit. And I think that you’re a hit. You’re like the new Elvis of country,” judge Howie Mandel told the singer. “I think you’re gonna break out from this particular song, this particular moment on this particular night.”
Mandel, Cowell, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara gave Milligan four resounding yeses, sending him and his band along to the next round of the competition.
Watch Milligan and his band perform “Sounds Like Something I’d Do” below.