There most likely will never be a better Fourth of July than last Wednesday. At least, that’s what Alex Boye will tell you.
One might be hard pressed to disagree with him after you hear about his night.
Boye was asked to host the Stadium of Fire event, the centerpiece of Provo’s American Freedom Festival on July 4.
He got to perform alongside the Beach Boys and American Idol winner Scott McCreery.
Oh, and it was his first Independence Day since becoming an American citizen earlier this year.
“I don’t know if any of my Fourth of Julys will be better than this one,” Boye said in a telephone interview on Thursday.
Boye’s passion for his citizenship and love for his country will be visible when he performs Saturday at the Patriots and Pioneers musical tribute set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at Brigham Young University-Idaho. The performance of patriotic and spiritual music will be held in the 15,000-seat BYU-Idaho Center.
Tickets were still available Friday afternoon and can be purchased online here.
“I’m really excited to sing some songs,” Boye said. In addition to singing some numbers from his recently released album “Calling America,” audience members can expect Boye to talk about what his citizenship means to him.
Boye also plans some soulful renditions of some popular songs, he said.
For the son of Nigerian parents who was born in England, the ceremony on Feb. 22 in Salt Lake City remains etched in his mind.
Especially when the judge overseeing the ceremony unexpectedly asked Boye to sing the National Anthem.
“All of a sudden, my heart starts beating like crazy,” Boye said, still remembering the day.
It’s a song that he’s sung numerous times before, but never with the same amount of pressure as on that day.
“I actually went blank for a little bit,” he said.
His U.S. citizenship was the culmination of a journey of sorts for Boye, 41, who had moved to Utah when he was 29.
“Every Mormon wants to come to Mecca at some point,” Boye said.
Boye converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was 16.
It wasn’t until his mission in Bristol, England, that he performed for the first time in public.
After completing his mission, he formed the European boy band Awesome and became the lead singer. While the band became hugely successful in Europe, Boye disliked the lifestyle of a touring musician.
“I had this dream of being a musician, but it was taking me down a road that led somewhere I didn’t want to go,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune in 2009.
For the former British pop sensation and one of the most visible members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Boye knows he’s on the right path along with his wife and family.
Boye said opportunities are starting to open up, and a lot has to do with his exposure on YouTube.
He recently completed a cover of “Grenade” from Bruno Mars with Utah violin sensation Lindsey Stirling, with the video attracting more than 180,000 views so far.
He’s performed with the Piano Guys and recently completed another arrangement of “Have I Done Any Good” with American Idol alumn Carmen Rasmusen Herbert.
“YouTube has opened up some doors for us,” Boye said.
One video featuring Boye singing on a Delta flight with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has more than 31,000 hits. During the clip, Boye is shown standing at the front of plane singing, “Rocking My Soul” into the phone used to speak to passengers. A Delta flight attendant became an unexpected star in the clip after singing and dancing with Boye.
“I always wanted to sing with one of those telephone things,” Boye said with a laugh.
Next Saturday, Boye will have much more than a “telephone thing” with him as he brings his patriotic passion as one of the newest citizens of the U.S.