Archie Williams became one of the standout stars of this season of America's Got Talent from the first moment he took the stage Tuesday. ET is breaking down everything you need to know about the performer.
The soulful singer wowed the judges, audience and viewers during Tuesday's season 15 premiere with his impressive vocal talent and his triumph over injustice.
Williams' appearance on the NBC reality competition series comes just over a year after he was exonerated and freed from prison after serving over 36 years for a crime he didn't commit. Now he's inspiring people with his perseverance and dedication.
Here's a look at what happened to Williams, how he's become one of the season's biggest stars already, and the impact his story has had on others thus far.
Why Did He Get Sent to Jail?
In 1983, at the age of 22, Williams was convicted of aggravated rape and attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, he maintained his innocence throughout the trial and his time in prison.
The crime was committed in December 1982 in Louisiana, and soon after, Williams was arrested and prosecuted, despite the fact that physical evidence, namely fingerprints, did not match his own, and there were witnesses who testified that he was at his own home the night of the attack.
"He was just walking down the street one day when the police snatched him up, and ended up putting his photograph in a photo array that was viewed by a woman who had been attacked in her home," Williams' attorney, Vanessa Potkin, told NPR last November. The victim did not at first identify Williams, but was repeatedly shown his picture and eventually named Williams as the man who'd attacked her.