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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

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 Travels From:
Atlanta, GA, USA
Speaking Fee 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.

BOOK Speech Thomas

Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 07/19/2024.

Speech Thomas Speaking Topics


    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 do I book Speech Thomas to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Speech Thomas for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability 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 speaking fee information and check availability for Speech Thomas or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Speech Thomas

    Speaking fees for Speech Thomas, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Speech Thomas are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Speech Thomas, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Speech Thomas speak about?

    Speech Thomas is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Art, Business, Culture, Entertainers, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership, Music, Producers and Directors, Television & Film, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Speech Thomas travel from?

    Speech Thomas generally travels from Atlanta, GA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Speech Thomas’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Speech Thomas for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker 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. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, 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 speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Speech Thomas or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

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 DJ Jazzy Jeff, Anthony David, G. Love, Regina Belle and DJ D-Nice. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Speech Thomas for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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