Skip to Main Content

Lyrics of My Life

My Journey with Family, HIV, and Reality TV

Published by Cleis Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster


See More Retailers

About The Book

“Branden’s book is needed for these times. Being true to our soul and living with courage is required for survival, and his moving story will certainly inspire others.”

—Michael Feinstein, Grammy and Emmy-nominated performer

Lyrics of My Life is authentically Branden James: a memoir highlighting the conflicts of growing up gay in a world that looked upon his true self and beliefs as an impractical, sinful way of life.

The world was not the least bit surprised when Branden James became a finalist on Season 8 of America’s Got Talent, receiving high praise from the judges for his emotional, operatic vocals. During his time in the spotlight, he hit more than one perfect note. Coming out and sharing intimate details of his broken ties with his religious family on the show, he received countless messages from fans who could relate to his personal struggles.

Through it all, Branden was surprised by one startling realization: how vital it was for him to be completely authentic in order to help others and continue to heal himself. Branden continued to inspire his fans and kindred spirits by publicly sharing further stories of struggling with depression, overcoming the tumultuous time when he contracted HIV, and being a victim of sexual assault, all while still identifying with the Christian faith.

Branden spares no details about his unstable life as a young adult, estrangement from his close-knit family, and, despite it all, his unbreakable will to overcome adversity. In a quest for his own personal freedom, Branden finds reconciliation with his family, rediscovers his faith, and realizes that affliction and hardship are not what define us as human beings.

About The Author

Branden James first captivated millions as a finalist on the 2013 season of America's Got Talent. Since then, he has toured with The Twelve Tenors—personally performing for Pope Benedict XVI and The Mandela Family in South Africa. Branden has also performed at The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He tours internationally in a cello and vocal duo called Branden & James with his husband, Australian cellist, James Clark. Visit him at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Cleis Press (September 8, 2020)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781627782920

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

A great read...This book is very well written, funny, introspective, and a very easy read as you go through each phase of Branden’s life and career.

– Queer Guru

Branden’s book is needed for these times. Being true to our soul and living with courage is required for survival, and his moving story will certainly inspire others, as it has deeply inspired me.

– Michael Feinstein, Grammy and Emmy-nominated singer, pianist, and music revivalist

As queer people being able to tell our stories is vital to helping other LGBTQIA people and our allies and critical in educating others about our experiences. This book is a beautiful telling of Branden’s truth.

– Marti Gould Cummings, Drag Artist & Politician

Branden James’ Lyrics of My Life are likely the lyrics for our own life challenges and our search for the strength and courage to stand bravely in the face of adversity. I’ve known Branden for several years, but I never knew much of what he has found the inner strength and courage to share publicly now. Branden sacrifices his protected privacy for a greater good, and we are the beneficiaries of that gracious gesture. We have deeply loved Branden’s outer voice for years, but now we get to hear his inner voice, and it is just as sweet, just as beautiful. He faced adversity without the support that so many of us take for granted. His is a story of strength, of becoming…and in Branden’s success, we might just all find our own voice.

– Paul Lisnek, Author and Multi-Emmy award winning television anchor/host for WGN-TV

Branden James is way too young to be writing a memoir but his journey has such a resonance for the LGBTQ community (especially millennial) who will be so moved by his honesty and candor that will serve as such inspiration for others like him seeking an authentic life.

– Roger Walker, Editor, QUEER GURU Magazine

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images