Updated July 7, 2023 - 1:04 pm
Update, 6/9/23: Michael Grimm without voice, but vital signs improving
The Las Vegas singer-songwriter who dazzled national-TV audiences more than a decade ago is in the battle of his life.
Michael Grimm, a favorite on the local entertainment scene who stunned viewing a national viewing audience by winning Season 5 of “America’s Got Talent,” has been hospitalized with a “mystery” illness for the past week.
Grimm’s wife, Lucie Grimm, said in a phone conversation Tuesday that Grimm fell ill with an undisclosed illness on May 26, three days after his most recent performance at Piazza at Tuscany Suites. He canceled three subsequent performances Memorial Day Weekend before being taken to the emergency room on May 30.
Lucie Grimm said her husband’s health had been “up and down” over the past month when his behavior became “incoherent.” She posted an account of his travails on Facebook and Instagram on Tuesday afternoon.
“All of a sudden he was stumbling in from the bedroom, his skin was yellow-ish, he was mumbling to me, and my girlfriend who was there,” Grimm said. “We grabbed him, asked, ‘What’s going on, Michael? He was saying, ‘I’m OK, I’m OK,’ but within minutes, he was saying, ‘I’ve gotta go, I’ve gotta go.’”
Grimm was treated and evaluated in an ER in a Las Vegas hospital (Lucie is not disclosing the location). The 44-year-old singer was sedated, but became agitated and “his blood pressure went through the roof.”
Over the past several days, Lucie says, “I’ve been living at the ICU. He’s been fighting for his life. He’s been in and out of consciousness. He’s not mentally with us.”
Initial concerns Grimm had suffered a stroke have been dispelled.
The Grimms are uninsured, with savings already depleting. Vegas showman Mark OToole has stepped up to organize and host a benefit to offset Grimm’s medical expenses. Plans are for an all-star show at either 4 to 9 p.m. or 5 to 10 p.m. July 9 at Veil at Silverton.
The venue has a capacity of 825-950. OToole plans to set prices for between $30-$50, with proceeds going to the Grimms. Details, of course, to be announced.
Doctors are addressing a multitude of areas of Grimm’s health, including detoxification from nicotine, as he has for years been a smoker. Lucie said his mental health is a concern, and that she wants him to undergo PTSD therapy when he is stable.
Grimm became famous across the country during his championship run on “America’s Got Talent” in September 2010. He auditioned for “AGT” as a performer in such clubs as Ovation at Green Valley Ranch, in the “Legends In Concert” band, and backing the Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley.
But Grimm went on a tear though the finals, winning the title over then 10-year-old singer Jackie Evancho by singing, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” dedicating it to Lucie. He proposed the next day, during an appearance on “Ellen.”
Now, the singer’s performance future is at a pause. Lucie, who is also his manager, has canceled all dates through this month and into August.
“He has a road ahead of him,” Lucie Grimm said. “It is day by day. My purpose is to make sure he walks out of here, alive.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.