By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector
ALAMO — Daniel Joyner, 18, has moved past several rounds of competition on the popular TV show, “America’s Got Talent,” even receiving two yeses from the infamous judge Simon Cowell, and recently performed again in Los Angeles, Calif., this time on live TV.
The active Christian and member of First Baptist Church, Alamo, where he also helps lead worship, has enjoyed the experience, he told the Jackson Sun. Daniel was in Los Angeles with his mother, Paige, for performances at press time on July 25. His father, Brian, is minister of music and youth of First, Alamo, located about 25 miles northwest of Jackson.
“Getting up there and seeing all those judges, particularly Simon, it was very fulfilling,” Daniel told the Jackson Sun following his first appearance on the show a few months ago. After he sang “Try a Little Tenderness,” Cowell commented, “Your voice for your age is remarkably good. If I was Michael Bublé I’d want to run you over.”
Through the experience Joyner has learned what goes into making a television show, learned he needs to give his all in a performance regardless of how he feels, and that no matter how hard he tries he cannot succeed without God on his side, he told the paper.
“I’ve always loved music, like as long as I can remember,” Joyner said on the show. “I would love to perform and to sing in front of an audience for the rest of my life.”
According to his father, he has been performing since he was in the fourth grade in plays through schools and in concerts through a vocal studio in Alamo. He was recruited by TV show officials through contact with the vocal studio. He just performed in the Crockett County High School production of “Footloose” the day before he traveled to Los Angeles for his first appearance on America’s Got Talent.
Daniel plays the trombone, guitar, piano, and drums, and, of course, sings. He is a member of his church’s praise band. He was the field commander for the marching band of Crockett County High School. This fall Daniel will study at Mississippi State University, where he will be a part of the marching band and study vocal/instrumental music education.
Brian and Paige left it up to Daniel whether to participate in America’s Got Talent, they said, but weren’t surprised when he agreed. One big challenge was the size of his audience — from about 300 at his previous performances in West Tennessee to about 3,000 in Los Angeles not counting the TV audience.
His father observed that over 20 years of ministry to students he has been around many students and Daniel stands out. “He’s as comfortable in his own skin as any student I’ve ever been around.
“He’s being who God created him to be. He’s using his voice to give God glory. … He’s excited about what God’s designed him to do. I’m just trying to keep his head level,” added the father.
“He’s excited about the chance for winning but if he doesn’t continue, he’s excited about what God has in store for him for the future,” said Joyner.