A year and a half after he was videotaped singing in the aisles of Walmart, Mason Ramsey has played the Grand Ole Opry eight times, opened for Florida Georgia Line and performed at Coachella and Stagecoach. But the soon-to-be teen says his latest invitation was his craziest yet: hopping on a remix of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” Ramsey’s take on the track brought him full circle; just one year ago, the Golconda, Ill., native was a viral sensation himself.
The footage of Ramsey’s yodel-filled rendition of Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues,” which was posted in March 2018, raked in millions of views on YouTube overnight -- and major labels took notice. Within a month, Ramsey signed a recording contract with Big Loud/Atlantic Records.
He’s not the first to convert a viral flashpoint into a traditional recording career; Atlantic labelmate Bhad Bhabie turned a talk show tussle into a rap career. For Ramsey, it happened even before his teen years, and despite saying social media “is literally what my career is living off of right now,” he’s not allowed to run his accounts -- at least, not until he turns 13 in November, according to Twitter’s regulations. Until then, he has tasked his grandmother, who still lives in Golconda (Ramsey and his parents relocated to Coopertown, Tenn., in 2018), with updating his profiles.