Walmart singing kid a hit

Mason Ramsey (above) shot to fame with a video of him singing at a Walmart store near his rural Midwestern town in the United States.
Mason Ramsey (above) shot to fame with a video of him singing at a Walmart store near his rural Midwestern town in the United States.PHOTO: MASON RAMSEY/INSTAGRAM

CHICAGO • Even Justin Bieber is smitten with Mason Ramsey, dancing along when the 11-year-old Internet sensation performed at Coachella earlier this month.

The boy shot to fame after a video of him singing Hank Williams' Lovesick Blues at a Walmart store near his rural Midwestern town in the United States went viral last month. It has 31 million views so far.

Two record labels - Atlantic Records and Big Loud - were quick to join the bandwagon, signing him up. His debut single, aptly titled Famous, was released over the weekend.

It was the latest feather in Ramsey's cap, coming after talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres managed to open doors for him to sing on country music's biggest stage, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, after he appeared on her show recently.

"I'd been to Nashville a few times, but never thought something like this would happen," the young singer said of his leap to fame.

His ascendance also caused Williams' 1949 song to spike 1,800 per cent on music services such as Spotify - getting one million streams, reported Billboard magazine.

Back where Ramsey's breakthrough began, the Walmart store cashed in on the publicity, sponsoring a concert by him.

He has quickly warmed up to his newfound fame with his smooth stage chatter. At the Walmart gig, he said at the end: "If the good Lord's willing and the creeks don't rise, I'll see you all again next time."

At DeGeneres' show, when she asked why he chose to perform in Walmart, his sassy response drew laughter. "Because that's the only store we've got," he said of his hometown Golconda, which has a population of 700.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2018, with the headline 'Walmart singing kid a hit'. Print Edition | Subscribe