Exclusive: ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist, Archie Williams, talks journey from Angola to Hollywood, criminal justice and what’s next


BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Baton Rouge’s Archie Williams, who finished in the top 10 of ‘America’s Got Talent’ this week says appearing on the show this season has been one of the best things that’s happened to him.

“I’m so thankful for my journey on ‘America’s Got Talent” Williams said exclusively to BRPROUD’s Gerron Jordan. “That show really helped me to share my story” he said.

Williams was locked up at Angola State Penitentiary for more than 35 years for a crime, he always said, he didn’t commit. He was released in 2019 only after DNA evidence exonerated him.

“It don’t work” Williams said about the criminal justice system. “I don’t have nothing to say to evil. Only thing I have to say is to my people- the only way we overcome is unification” Williams said. “Evil is going to be evil. You can protest, you can do what you want and for 400 years we been doing the same thing, over and over. It don’t work” he said.

Archie finished in the top 10 of ‘America’s Got Talent’ this week. He says while he didn’t walk away with the top spot, he’s walking away with much more.

“I actually really didn’t want to win the million” Williams said. “Because I’m already a winner. I really wanted personally for Christine to win, but it is what it is” Williams laughed.

“That’s just the life I am… I would rather for someone else to win before me. Cuz I win already”.

Williams says one of the highlights of the season for him was being able to sing with one of his musical icons during the finale; Marvin Winans.

“Man, I can’t even explain it” WIlliams said. “That’s one moment I can’t explain. It was so wonderful man to meet Marvin Winans and the thing about it is I encouraged him more than he encouraged me he said. That was a blessing there”.

Now, a man with a new mission, Williams is heading back to Baton Rouge where he hopes to plant a church and continue working directly with other men who have been wrongfully incarcerated.

“If they hold on to faith they will realize there is a light at the end of every tunnel… If you seek you’ll find it too. And if you trust in God, you’ll find peace as you go with it” Williams said. “If you trust in a higher power, you’ll have peace as you go along with it finding the end and the light at the end” he said.

Williams says the great Stevie Wonder is now working on a song for him. No word on when that song is planned to be recorded or released but Williams says it will be one of the greatest honors of his life.

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