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Maryland native becomes youngest to take home Tony for lead actor in a musical

Maryland native Myles Frost went from Bowie State to Broadway, and at 22 is now the youngest person to win best lead actor in a musical for his role as Michael Jackson in “MJ the Musical.”

“Mama I made it,” Frost said when he first stepped to the microphone Sunday night at the 75th Tony Awards presentation.

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The singing and moonwalking Broadway sensation has come a long way from being raised by his single mother in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

“Mom, I love you so, so much, without you there would be no me,” an emotional Frost said. “You’ve taught me and showed me what a strong Black woman is, and what it means to raise a strong Black man and I just pray I made you proud.”

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Frost has made his family, university and hometown proud since he landed the role in “MJ.” Along with supporters of the Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council, more than 100 members of the Bowie State University community descended on Broadway in March to see Frost transform into Jackson.

“We are absolutely thrilled… ,” Bowie State President Dr. Aminta Breaux said in a news release late Sunday. “Myles is the youngest HBCU student to win a Tony. I believe the best is yet to come,” she said.

Frost beat Billy Crystal in “Mr. Saturday Night,” Hugh Jackman from “The Music Man,” Rob McClure in “Mrs. Doubtfire” and Jaquel Spivey in “A Strange Loop.” He also unseated Ben Platt as the youngest performer to win best leading man in a musical on his own for “Dear Evan Hansen.” (Three young men won for playing Billy Elliot in 2009).

Even before Tony nominations were officially announced, his supporters were in awe of his thriller performance in “MJ.”

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“He’s one of our own, and he’s starring on Broadway portraying a music icon,” Breaux said previously in a statement. “Myles Frost exemplifies excellence, and the BSU family came to Broadway to show him our unyielding support. Bowie State is supporting him today and will continue to follow his career over the years as he expands and grows as an entertainer.”

Prince George’s County arts council Executive Director Rhonda Dallas was confident Frost’s performance deserved accolades.

“He is absolutely electrifying to watch perform and if you close your eyes, you’ll think you’re listening to Michael Jackson sing,” Dallas said. “He’s an absolute phenomenal talent.”

Showcasing his embodiment of the King of Pop in an exciting performance during the Tony Awards broadcast Sunday, Frost showed he captures the soft-natured swagger of the musical icon off the stage as well.

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“I love you all. And as Michael would say, ’with love, heal the world,’” the actor said in his acceptance speech, donning a Michael Jackson inspired ensemble, equipped with sparkling bling on the shoulder pads and sunshades.

“MJ,” the bio musical that opened in February at the Neil Simon Theatre, is stuffed with the King of Pop’s biggest hits, including “ABC,” “Black or White,” “Blame it on the Boogie,” “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Off the Wall,” “Thriller” and “I’ll Be There.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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