Neal E. Boyd burst onto the public consciousness in 2008 when he won million-dollar grand prize on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Boyd went on to tour the world, singing opera and attracting millions of music fans with his online videos. But that all nearly ended on January 21 on Interstate 55.
Boyd and his mother were on the way to a doctor's appointment when he blacked out. He said he really doesn't remember much after that.
"It wasn't until I saw the police report that I realized we went airborne and hit two trees, flipped, and landed," he said. "How we survived that, I have no idea."
Boyd spent several weeks in various hospitals in St. Louis, in and out of consciousness.
"All I could do was stare at the ceiling tiles," he said. "For somebody who is used to being able to travel all over the country and perform for people, to be that injured and not knowing if you're ever (going to) walk again or talk again, let alone sing. That was terrifying."
Boyd’s going through physical therapy in Sikeston, trying to get strong enough to walk on stage again. He’s also working on his next album, which will take on added meaning after what he just went through.
"I just sit there and think to myself what lyrics, what tone will inspire someone in my situation," he said.
The name of that album is expected to be "In The Middle of it All." He said it's about helping people in a tough situation.
"Who's gonna pop that CD when they’re at the lowest point in life and bring them up just a step or two," Boyd said.
Boyd said that he has overcome challenges in the past, so this is just the next step on his life's journey.
"It's almost like something big is getting ready to happen," he said. "If that (crash) didn't take me out, then God still has a purpose for me. And I think He does and that energizes me. And I'm looking forward to the next chapter."
By John Brown