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America's Got Talent Host Terry Crews Singing "A Thousand Miles" Will Never Get Old
Crews singing Vanessa Carlton's pop hit in the 2004 film White Chicks remains one of the funniest things ever.
Audiences can’t get enough of long-time America’s Got Talent Host Terry Crews, and there’s good reason why. The former NFL player-turned-actor has entertained us for years with roles in Fox and NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Expendables film series, to name just a few.
Since Season 14, Crews has been the warm-hearted and comedic Host AGT fans have always deserved, now joining Judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, and Sofia Vergara for its current season. Crews’ side-stage and backstage presence remains a staple as the talent comes and goes from the AGT stage, many singing covers of songs for a chance to make it to the next round.
But if you haven’t seen Crews sing his own rendition of Vanessa Carlton’s 2002 pop hit, "A Thousand Miles," then you’re in for a real treat.
Terry Crews’ Cover of "A Thousand Miles"
In 2004, comedian and actor Keenen Ivory Wayans (creator of the successful ’90s sketch comedy series In Living Color) directed White Chicks, a comedy starring brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans. The film revolves around two Black FBI agents (played by the Wayans) tasked with going undercover as two white hotel heiresses at risk of a Hamptons-based kidnapping.
Crews co-starred as Latrell Spencer, a pro basketball player who takes a particular liking to “Tiffany” (who, unbeknownst to Spencer, is Marlon Wayans’ character, FBI agent Marcus Copeland).
In one of the film’s more notable and now-iconic scenes, Crews’ love-smitten character picks Tiffany up after winning a date at an upscale auction.
“Watch those marshmallows,” Spencer hilariously says while holding the car door for Tiffany and her pet Pomeranian.
Tiffany, who doesn’t reciprocate Spencer’s feelings, attempts to scare Spencer off by playing "A Thousand Miles," but to her fear and surprise, Spencer is a fan.
“What the-,” Spencer begins, initially appearing confused by the song. But Spencer soon changes his demeanor and exclaims, “How did you know? I love this song!”
To Tiffany’s bewilderment, Spencer sings along with the piano notes and makes laugh-out-loud facial expressions and hand gestures while seated behind the steering wheel. The pair then drive off for their dinner date.
Many have referred to the White Chicks scene as catapulting Crews’ success, including when, earlier this year, CNN called it “the catalyst to stardom he needed.”
About Vanessa Carlton’s Early-Aughts Pop Hit
"A Thousand Miles" was a 2002 pop anthem and the successful lead track from Carlton’s debut album, Be Not Nobody. The one-hit wonder was nominated for Grammys in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, many thanks to its distinguished piano riffs.
The song peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard charts for Best Contemporary Song and Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40, selling over than 1 million copies.
In 2022, Carlton told Billboard her husband called the single “Lightning in a bottle.”
“I look at her [the song], like — she’s a beast, you know, she is of me, but also separate from me,” Carlton said on the song’s 20-year anniversary. “And I think that the way I look at that song is as a miraculous moment in time.”
Carlton on Crews' Cover of “A Thousand Miles”
In 2021, Carlton was featured in Vice's Story Of docuseries, where the singer looked back at the 2002 hit, which only grew in popularity after Crews’ White Chicks version. Crews also appeared in the Vice episode, gushing at how “that song changed my life.”
Yahoo Entertainment cited how some refer to "A Thousand Miles" as the “whitest song ever.”
“Oh, I always got the joke,” said Carlton. “Also, the Wayans [brothers] asked me if I would do it, and they explained the joke, and they’re big fans of the song and of me and support me.”
Carlton and Crews also discussed the scene and how Crews “actually really loved the song.”
“That song is the power of music at times, where it’s like gender, race, language, age, whatever, it just blows through all of that,” said Carlton. “And it’s just something that a lot of people can connect to.”
Carlton told Yahoo she and Crews became friends over the scene, adding that they regularly text and talk. She also said she felt connected to Crews because of his outspoken role in the #MeToo movement, calling Crews “wonderful” and “a natural teacher.”
“It’s really my honor to be connected to his career and that [White Chicks] scene,” Carlton continued. “I mean, it’s a part of pop culture.”
Crews Continues to Cover the Song
The widely-circulated White Chicks scene has become synonymous with Crews’ career, and he continues to reenact it wherever he goes. Crews appeared on NBC’s Today show to ring in 2015 (bouncing his pecs in typical Crews fashion), reliving the scene and maintaining, “This is my favorite song.”
“Vanessa Carlton? Let me tell you, we should go on the road together,” said Crews. “She’ll sing a verse, I’ll sing a verse, this will all be good!”
In 2021, he sang "A Thousand Miles" between commercial breaks for the AGT live audience, which he (thankfully) shared on TikTok with the caption: “The perfect AGT audience hype song!”