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Leslie Odom Jr. (Sam Cooke)

Sam Cooke, the American soul singer best remembered for his highly emotional song “A Change Is Gonna Come,” (which was inspired by his 1963 arrest in the Jim Crow South) is portrayed by none other than the sensational Leslie Odom Jr. of Hamilton fame. In addition to being the first actor to take on the role of Aaron Burr in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway sensation, Odom has been in everything from theatrical productions of Rent, Dreamgirls, and Jersey Boys, to movies like Harriet, Only, and Red Tails, and television shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI: Miami.

On top of all of that, Leslie Odom Jr. has also released multiple studio albums, including two Christmas records, the most recent having come out in November 2020. For some, however, Odom will always been remembered for his career-defining performance in Hamilton all those years ago.

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