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Speech Thomas

Performer, 2X Grammy Award Winner Musician, Founder of Vagabond Productions, Founder & Lead Singer of the 4X Platinum Hip-Hop Collective "Arrested Development", Award-Winning Producer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

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Speech Thomas Biography

Brave leaders come about in all shapes and sizes, but most importantly with voices that find a way to be heard in a way that transforms others. Speech Thomas is a shining example of someone who broke the mold and boldly embraced a path that many would not take. Growing up in Milwaukee, one of the most statistically difficult places for black youth, Speech began “going against the grain,” allowing his challenges to fuel his positive impact. Speech focused on that spirit as he and his bandmates took Arrested Development from humble and rural beginnings in Georgia, to becoming a pioneering force in the music world. Pushing against all trends at the time, their vulnerable and uplifting song “Tennessee” became their first hit single as well as being awarded BEST RAP SONG at the Grammys and was named one of the “500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Today, he uses that same spirit to help audiences understand how to carve their own path of Brave Leadership in business and life.

Speech was born Todd Thomas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He grew up on two sides of life: the ghetto of Milwaukee (one of the nation’s roughest cities for African Americans) and (Wauwatosa) Milwaukee’s suburbia. Speech learned how to draw from the pains and beauty of both. He would absorb the plights of his people and the retreat of a middle-class black boy in a primarily white neighborhood. He lost his grandmother to a heart attack and his older brother, Terrence Thomas to an Asthma attack within the same week, and through spirituality, he learned to recalibrate his inner anger through dynamic music. To celebrate the lives of those he lost, he coined his sound “life music.” Speech wrote the hit song “Tennessee” as a dedication to his grandmother and brother.

In the early nineties, Speech and his mother started the Terrence Thomas Scholarship and to date, the scholarship has raised over a million dollars helping young black students further their educations. In 1995, the group disbanded, and Speech signed a solo record deal with EMI. His first single “Like Marvin Gaye Said” shot to #1 on the Japanese Tokyo 100 charts for 7 consecutive weeks. Speech has released 5 solo albums since, all of which have spawned Top 10 hit singles in Japan. His albums “1998 Hoopla” and "Spiritual People” (2000) were certified gold, while “Spiritual People” was awarded the Best black music album of the year 2000 by the acclaimed ADLIB magazine. Speech supported each album with sold-out tours.

Speech has also toured as a solo performer with the United States Vice President Al Gore, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Youssou N’dour, James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic, Jason Mraz, Hootie & the Blowfish, and The Roots.

In 2020 Speech partnered with Resonant Pictures and Pipeline Entertainment to release the full-length documentary “16 Bars” where Speech goes into a maximum-security jail to write music with inmates. This stirring documentary has won numerous film festival awards and is now available through Lightyear Entertainment on streaming platforms worldwide.

Speech continues to change lives through his keynotes and music.

Speaking Topics
  • MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT

    If you are looking to add entertainment to your event, look no further! Speech Thomas will sing and entertain your attendees and, from the minute he hits the stage, everyone will be singing, dancing and uniting! Speech’s positive life music combined with his leadership lessons and short stories he shares throughout, will engage, inspire and entertain the attendees like no other.

  • BRAVE LEADERSHIP: Accomplish the Seemingly Impossible Under Any Circumstance

    We’re living in very challenging times, which casts an even brighter spotlight on the fact that brave leaders are in high demand, but short in supply, and for many, the traditional leadership roles no longer even apply. Right now being a leader can be complicated, messy, uncomfortable and even dangerous, which is why so many people are questioning if they really have what it takes to succeed. Brave Leadership is a character trait that every individual can sharpen no matter their background or career path. That is the ultimate message in this keynote by Speech Thomas, who knows what it means to be a BRAVE Leader who inspires and accomplishes the extraordinary. By using a blend of storytelling, music and actionable strategies, he now travels the world to share the tale of how he rose to fame against all odds. By the time he is done, he has created an intimate experience which elevates every member in the audience to aspire to their personal next level of Brave Leadership.

    BRAVE LEADERSHIP DEFINED: Bold, Resilient, Adaptable, Vulnerable and Encouraging

    Through a unique combination of voice and song, Speech Thomas presents a keynote like no other. A gifted storyteller, his message is clear from the beginning: It's not who you are that holds you back. It's who you think you're not." This talk is perfect for audiences who want to break free from the status quo and hear from someone who took an unlikely path to become an inspirational entrepreneur and philanthropist while reaching great heights as a Grammy Winner. This story resonates with participants as they soon realize that what Speech is telling them always applies, no matter the situation. “Do what you can with what you have and with the people around you.” Leaders always want to make a difference no matter what, and Speech shows how to create, innovate and enjoy groundbreaking success by being B.R.A.V.E (Bold, Resilient, Adaptable, Vulnerable, Encouraging)

    Key Takeaways

    • The 5 qualities of B.R.A.V.E. Leadership for meaningful and measurable results.
    • How to create, innovate, and enjoy groundbreaking success as a leader by being B.R.A.V.E.
    • The new definition of a disruptor and how to embrace it to accomplish good.
    • How to harness the power of storytelling whether through voice or music to achieve great things.

Videos
FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Speech Thomas?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Speech Thomas for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Speech Thomas, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Speech Thomas or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Speech Thomas?

    Speaking fees for Speech Thomas, or any other keynote speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The amount that Speech Thomas charges to speak often varies according to the circumstances, including their schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Speech Thomas, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Speech Thomas?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Speech Thomas for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Speech Thomas for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Speech Thomas or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Speech Thomas or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

Performer, 2X Grammy Award Winner Musician, Founder of Vagabond Productions, Founder & Lead Singer of the 4X Platinum Hip-Hop Collective "Arrested Development", Award-Winning Producer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Travels From:
Atlanta, GA, USA
Speaking Fee:

Speech Thomas Biography

Brave leaders come about in all shapes and sizes, but most importantly with voices that find a way to be heard in a way that transforms others. Speech Thomas is a shining example of someone who broke the mold and boldly embraced a path that many would not take. Growing up in Milwaukee, one of the most statistically difficult places for black youth, Speech began “going against the grain,” allowing his challenges to fuel his positive impact. Speech focused on that spirit as he and his bandmates took Arrested Development from humble and rural beginnings in Georgia, to becoming a pioneering force in the music world. Pushing against all trends at the time, their vulnerable and uplifting song “Tennessee” became their first hit single as well as being awarded BEST RAP SONG at the Grammys and was named one of the “500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Today, he uses that same spirit to help audiences understand how to carve their own path of Brave Leadership in business and life.

Speech was born Todd Thomas in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He grew up on two sides of life: the ghetto of Milwaukee (one of the nation’s roughest cities for African Americans) and (Wauwatosa) Milwaukee’s suburbia. Speech learned how to draw from the pains and beauty of both. He would absorb the plights of his people and the retreat of a middle-class black boy in a primarily white neighborhood. He lost his grandmother to a heart attack and his older brother, Terrence Thomas to an Asthma attack within the same week, and through spirituality, he learned to recalibrate his inner anger through dynamic music. To celebrate the lives of those he lost, he coined his sound “life music.” Speech wrote the hit song “Tennessee” as a dedication to his grandmother and brother.

In the early nineties, Speech and his mother started the Terrence Thomas Scholarship and to date, the scholarship has raised over a million dollars helping young black students further their educations. In 1995, the group disbanded, and Speech signed a solo record deal with EMI. His first single “Like Marvin Gaye Said” shot to #1 on the Japanese Tokyo 100 charts for 7 consecutive weeks. Speech has released 5 solo albums since, all of which have spawned Top 10 hit singles in Japan. His albums “1998 Hoopla” and "Spiritual People” (2000) were certified gold, while “Spiritual People” was awarded the Best black music album of the year 2000 by the acclaimed ADLIB magazine. Speech supported each album with sold-out tours.

Speech has also toured as a solo performer with the United States Vice President Al Gore, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Youssou N’dour, James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic, Jason Mraz, Hootie & the Blowfish, and The Roots.

In 2020 Speech partnered with Resonant Pictures and Pipeline Entertainment to release the full-length documentary “16 Bars” where Speech goes into a maximum-security jail to write music with inmates. This stirring documentary has won numerous film festival awards and is now available through Lightyear Entertainment on streaming platforms worldwide.

Speech continues to change lives through his keynotes and music.

Speech Thomas Speaking Topics

  • MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT

    If you are looking to add entertainment to your event, look no further! Speech Thomas will sing and entertain your attendees and, from the minute he hits the stage, everyone will be singing, dancing and uniting! Speech’s positive life music combined with his leadership lessons and short stories he shares throughout, will engage, inspire and entertain the attendees like no other.

  • BRAVE LEADERSHIP: Accomplish the Seemingly Impossible Under Any Circumstance

    We’re living in very challenging times, which casts an even brighter spotlight on the fact that brave leaders are in high demand, but short in supply, and for many, the traditional leadership roles no longer even apply. Right now being a leader can be complicated, messy, uncomfortable and even dangerous, which is why so many people are questioning if they really have what it takes to succeed. Brave Leadership is a character trait that every individual can sharpen no matter their background or career path. That is the ultimate message in this keynote by Speech Thomas, who knows what it means to be a BRAVE Leader who inspires and accomplishes the extraordinary. By using a blend of storytelling, music and actionable strategies, he now travels the world to share the tale of how he rose to fame against all odds. By the time he is done, he has created an intimate experience which elevates every member in the audience to aspire to their personal next level of Brave Leadership.

    BRAVE LEADERSHIP DEFINED: Bold, Resilient, Adaptable, Vulnerable and Encouraging

    Through a unique combination of voice and song, Speech Thomas presents a keynote like no other. A gifted storyteller, his message is clear from the beginning: It's not who you are that holds you back. It's who you think you're not." This talk is perfect for audiences who want to break free from the status quo and hear from someone who took an unlikely path to become an inspirational entrepreneur and philanthropist while reaching great heights as a Grammy Winner. This story resonates with participants as they soon realize that what Speech is telling them always applies, no matter the situation. “Do what you can with what you have and with the people around you.” Leaders always want to make a difference no matter what, and Speech shows how to create, innovate and enjoy groundbreaking success by being B.R.A.V.E (Bold, Resilient, Adaptable, Vulnerable, Encouraging)

    Key Takeaways

    • The 5 qualities of B.R.A.V.E. Leadership for meaningful and measurable results.
    • How to create, innovate, and enjoy groundbreaking success as a leader by being B.R.A.V.E.
    • The new definition of a disruptor and how to embrace it to accomplish good.
    • How to harness the power of storytelling whether through voice or music to achieve great things.

Speech Thomas Videos

  • Speech Thomas Sizzel Reel
  • Speech Thomas Musical Entertainment footage
  • Speech Thomas - Brave Leadership

FAQs on booking Speech Thomas

  • How to book Speech Thomas?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Speech Thomas for both live and virtual events for over 20 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Speech Thomas, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Speech Thomas or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Speech Thomas?

    Speaking fees for Speech Thomas, or any other keynote speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The amount that Speech Thomas charges to speak often varies according to the circumstances, including their schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Speech Thomas, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Speech Thomas?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Speech Thomas for clients worldwide for more than 20 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Speech Thomas for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Speech Thomas or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Speech Thomas or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Speech Thomas is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT and BRAVE LEADERSHIP: Accomplish the Seemingly Impossible Under Any Circumstance. The estimated speaking fee range to book Speech Thomas for your event is $20,000 - $30,000. Speech Thomas generally travels from Atlanta, GA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are G. Love, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ D-Nice, Warren G. and Pharrell Williams. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Speech Thomas for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Speech Thomas Speaking Topics

  • MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT

    If you are looking to add entertainment to your event, look no further! Speech Thomas will sing and entertain your attendees and, from the minute he hits the stage, everyone will be singing, dancing and uniting! Speech’s positive life music combined with his leadership lessons and short stories he shares throughout, will engage, inspire and entertain the attendees like no other.

  • BRAVE LEADERSHIP: Accomplish the Seemingly Impossible Under Any Circumstance

    We’re living in very challenging times, which casts an even brighter spotlight on the fact that brave leaders are in high demand, but short in supply, and for many, the traditional leadership roles no longer even apply. Right now being a leader can be complicated, messy, uncomfortable and even dangerous, which is why so many people are questioning if they really have what it takes to succeed. Brave Leadership is a character trait that every individual can sharpen no matter their background or career path. That is the ultimate message in this keynote by Speech Thomas, who knows what it means to be a BRAVE Leader who inspires and accomplishes the extraordinary. By using a blend of storytelling, music and actionable strategies, he now travels the world to share the tale of how he rose to fame against all odds. By the time he is done, he has created an intimate experience which elevates every member in the audience to aspire to their personal next level of Brave Leadership.

    BRAVE LEADERSHIP DEFINED: Bold, Resilient, Adaptable, Vulnerable and Encouraging

    Through a unique combination of voice and song, Speech Thomas presents a keynote like no other. A gifted storyteller, his message is clear from the beginning: It's not who you are that holds you back. It's who you think you're not." This talk is perfect for audiences who want to break free from the status quo and hear from someone who took an unlikely path to become an inspirational entrepreneur and philanthropist while reaching great heights as a Grammy Winner. This story resonates with participants as they soon realize that what Speech is telling them always applies, no matter the situation. “Do what you can with what you have and with the people around you.” Leaders always want to make a difference no matter what, and Speech shows how to create, innovate and enjoy groundbreaking success by being B.R.A.V.E (Bold, Resilient, Adaptable, Vulnerable, Encouraging)

    Key Takeaways

    • The 5 qualities of B.R.A.V.E. Leadership for meaningful and measurable results.
    • How to create, innovate, and enjoy groundbreaking success as a leader by being B.R.A.V.E.
    • The new definition of a disruptor and how to embrace it to accomplish good.
    • How to harness the power of storytelling whether through voice or music to achieve great things.

Speech Thomas Speaker Videos

  • Speech Thomas Sizzel Reel
    Speech Thomas Musical Entertainment footage
  • Speech Thomas - Brave Leadership

Tell us about your event!

During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Speech Thomas

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

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