“I FINALLY got to a place where I felt like I could make an album that said something personally and meant something,” he said, adding, “I had lived enough to where I could make an album and feel good about it.”
The awards for Brady have been numerous. The first was a Primetime Emmy Award in 2003 for his work on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” The category was Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety, Musical or Comedy Series.
Recalling the Emmy ceremony, which was almost surreal to him, Brady said, “It was absolutely amazing. Robin Williams is one of my heroes as far as what I do, and to win an award with him sitting in the audience was incredible. I’m still pinching myself.”
Brady was soon hosting his own variety show, “The Wayne Brady Show,” 2001, as well as a daytime talk show, also titled “The Wayne Brady Show.” He won a Daytime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Talk Show Host category.
Described as “a true showman,” in 2004 Brady responded to a beckoning call from Broadway, accepting a role in the revival of “Chicago.”
He portrayed the conniving Billy Flynn, a role Richard Gere had in the film version of the long-running musical, and that Usher recently won raves for on Broadway.
“THAT WAS a dream I started acting with,” Brady said. “I’d done musicals and theater, but I hadn’t cracked Broadway until ‘Chicago.’ My hope is to go back to Broadway at some point. I’d really love to originate a role, too.”
Brady is one of those entertainers, like Sammy Davis Jr., whom he paid homage to in his Las Vegas show, who believes in giving an audience 100 percent, every time.
“I come from the old school way of thinking,” he explained. “I’m going to give you everything I have. The whole nine. That’s who I am.”
Brady’s television work also includes the musical game show “Don’t Forget the Lyrics!” It made its debut in 2007 and came to its conclusion earlier this year.
He has a long history of guest star appearances. Among the shows are “30 Rock,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Girlfriends,” “The Chappelle Show,” “Celebrity Duets,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Hollywood Squares,” “American Dreams” and “The Drew Carey Show.”
It has often been acknowledged that a person will always do better at something they enjoy and believe in. One wise philosophical writer advised choosing work that you would do for free if you could afford to.
“I’m being paid to have a good time,” said Wayne Brady. — SVH
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