In a whirlwind month, 11-year-old Mason Ramsey has gone from singing at a Walmart near his rural Midwestern US town, to becoming an internet sensation, and now, scoring a major music contract announced Friday.
The American country music-loving boy has signed a deal with two record labels — Atlantic Records and the Nashville-based Big Loud — and released his first single Friday, aptly titled “Famous.”
“I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen,” the young singer was quoted as saying, in a joint statement released by the music labels.
Smartphone video posted in late March showed Ramsey singing at a Walmart store near his home in Harrisburg, Illinois — something he said he did often. His yodeling performance went viral, garnering 31 million views — and counting.
It featured Ramsey singing “Lovesick Blues” by the late Hank Williams.
The legendary American singer-songwriter, who was among the first country music superstars, is Ramsey’s favorite musician.
Ramsey’s sudden internet fame caused Williams’ 1949 rendition of the song to spike 1,800 percent on various music services such as Spotify — getting one million streams, according to Billboard magazine.
Global searches for the lyrics to the song also spiked.
Like his idol, Ramsey has been thrust into the spotlight and become the subject of internet memes and video remixes.
Walmart sponsored a concert starring Ramsey at the same store where he initially performed. He has sung at the prestigious Coachella music festival and on country music’s biggest stage, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
“He is a down to earth kid who loves country music,” Big Loud’s Seth England said in a statement.
Next, the young singer is working on a new video to accompany his just-released single.