PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Before Michael Grimm put on a Fedora and showed America he's got talent, a young Mike Grimm wore a cowboy hat to entertain hometown crowds in Hancock County.
At age of 17, the WLOX News cameras caught Grimm performing for his classmates at Hancock High School. He's come a long way, and his grandparents, Laura and Thomas Butters, have been cheering every success.
"We were all just waiting and tensed up, and I closed my eyes because I didn't want to see it, but I did want to see it," said Laura Butters. "Then when I opened my eyes, I heard them say Michael Grimm. I don't know; I just started crying. I started hollering."
An hour and a half after the big win, Grimm's family and friends in Mississippi were still celebrating when the phone rang and the big winner was calling from Los Angeles to talk to his grandparents.
Laura ; "Hey! What am I thinking? I'm happy! How are you?" Laura said while talking to Michael. "I can't believe it! I've had so many people calling me from all over!"
Grimm's grandparents raised him since he was four years old. They encouraged his career, and when America's Got Talent came calling, Grimm promised if he won the competition he would build his grandparents a new home.
The Butters have been living in a mobile home since Hurricane Katrina destroyed their Bayside Park home in Hancock County.
"Within two weeks Mike said he would have me out of here until we get my home built," Laura said.
Grimm's million dollar prize will help with that. Family members say they've always know what the rest of America now knows, Michael Grimm's got talent!
Mike's Aunt Laura Delle said, "I knew since he was little and he opened that little mouth of his, that Michael was going to be the super star that he is today."
Grimm friend and fan Mandy McKinley said, "The first time he stepped on the stage, I told Grandma he is going to do it, and he did it!"
In addition to the million dollars in prize money, Michael Grimm won a year long contract as a headliner in Las Vegas.