Mason Ramsay dreamed of becoming a star, and one lucky day, he shot to fame because of a viral video. After years in the spotlight, the young man took a hiatus and focused on his studies while working at Subway.
Mason Ramsay grew up in Golconda, Illinois, a town strong on country music, producing some country artists in the past. Growing up under the wing of his grandfather, Ernie, and grandmother, Francis, Mason was accustomed to classic country music from the '40s and '50s.
Naturally, he fell in love with the genre and learned to sing before crowds. By the time he was four, Mason was already trying to emulate his idol, Hank Williams, singing "I Saw the Light."
Mason Ramsey enjoying the outdoors. | Source: Instagram.com/masonramsey
A WALMART STAR
Mason was like any other boy his age, but he had one exceptional talent – he knew how to yodel. Not wanting to waste his gift, the lad would sing in their local Walmart store, and one day, a teacher's assistant, Dana Tanner, went inside the store only to hear a sound that was all too familiar. She recalled:
"I was probably two or three aisles over when I heard him singing."
As she walked the aisles, she came across a young Mason, dressed in skinny blue jeans, a white button-down top, a red bow tie, and leather boots. He asked his grandmother if she could take a video. Later that day, she shared the clip on Facebook, propelling the yodeling Walmart boy into stardom.
MASON GOES VIRAL
Tanner's video immediately went viral, and within a few days, she received an offer to license her video to ViralHog. Mason's clip amassed over eleven million views, reaching the L.A.-based music managers, celebrities, and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres.
Mason is not the only talented youngster who went viral and appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
Mason became an internet sensation, earning the moniker "the yodeling Walmart boy" and appeared on DeGeneres' show.
MASON'S EXPERIENCE ON TELEVISION
While on the show, DeGeneres spoke to Mason about topics ranging from sparkling water to his lifelong dream to perform at the Grand Ole Opry one day. DeGeneres responded that it was a big goal that required years of hard work and wished the young boy luck.
Of course, Mason didn't leave the show without giving a breathtaking performance that earned a loud round of applause. Following his song, DeGeneres surprised the boy by saying he was booked for a spot to perform in the Grand Ole Opry in a few days.
While already shocked that his dream would come true sooner than he expected, DeGeneres also revealed that Walmart gave Mason a college scholarship worth $15,000. Undoubtedly, it was a television experience Mason would remember for a lifetime.
RELEASING A RECORD
Music manager Dan Awad and his business partner, Danny Kang, also caught interest in the boy, thinking he would be the next Johnny Cash. Although they had no prior experience in country music, the pair made a way to launch Mason into stardom. Kang said:
"We completely, literally, had our mind blown. It was incredible to watch an 11-year-old who was that smart and funny, just ridiculous. He had that star power [...]."
They helped Mason sign a deal with Atlantic and Big Loud Records and later released the boy's song, which debuted in the Top Five Billboard's Hot Country Songs Chart. Soon, it became the most-streamed country song on Spotify for the week and the highest-selling country single on iTunes.
A COUNTRY STAR
In 2017, Mason was invited to perform at the annual Hank Williams Tribute Festival in Alabama. There, he met Williams' family, including his daughter, Jett Williams, who said of Mason:
"He seemed to realize that this was a very special opportunity."
Mason became a star in no time, leaving audiences in awe of his talent at a young age. "This is a kid who was going to be destined for this either way," Big Loud partner, Seth England, said.
AWAY FROM THE SPOTLIGHT
However, after releasing his EP, "Twang," in 2019, Mason stepped away from the spotlight, leaving his fans clueless of his whereabouts. It wasn't until this year that he posted a rare Instagram update, riding a yellow Jet Ski.
He also shared photos of him living his normal life, going to a formal, and celebrating his birthday, giving fans the answer to their questions. He shared:
"Sorry I've been so quiet on social media lately. I've been living my life and took a step back from everything for a bit. I'm 15 now and a lot has changed since that day in Walmart."
As a part of him living his best life, Mason also took a job at Subway and shared a clip of his after-school job on social media. "Don't knock the hustle, y'all," he said on his TikTok, showing everyone that he didn't mind the grind.
Mason is not the only talented youngster who went viral and appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Years back, Sophia Grace and her cousin Rosie McClelland became viral stars and regulars on the talk show.
Sophia's music career became a success for a while as she released songs that touched on real-life issues, such as online bullying. Being in the limelight as a child, Sophia knows what it was like to have online bashers all too well.
Fortunately, the negativity directed towards her online never fueled misbehavior. Now 18, Sophia is living her best life and continuing to make her parents proud, whether through her music or not.