A third grader in Louisville, Kentucky, showed off his powerful pipes while singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a now-viral video.
D’Corey Johnson, 9, sang the national anthem during his school’s morning announcements on April 23. Alecia Dunn, principal at Bates Elementary, recorded D’Corey singing and posted to the school’s social media accounts, where it has been seen at least 114,000 times on Facebook alone.
The school’s morning announcements consist of the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, the school’s personal pledge and news of the day, Dunn told “Good Morning America.”
Usually, a recording of the song is played and students and faculty sing along in their respective classrooms. This time, however, D’Corey went to Dunn and asked her if he could sing it himself.
“He’s so authentic and genuine. There’s nothing rehearsed about him,” Dunn said. “There’s no stage child, it is just him. It’s almost like he’s this old soul.”
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When it came time for D’Corey to sing, Dunn was so stunned that she was at a loss for words.
“I couldn’t finish the announcements. So I just told teachers, ‘You guys can finish out our Bates scholar pledge,'” she recalled. “You could hear outside the office all the cheers. And then we walked out of my office … it was almost like he was on a parade — every teacher was hanging out their door, we were all crying.”
D’Corey is no stranger to singing. His mother, Nakia Johnson, says he’s always been a singer from a young age — whether it’s at her salon or at church.
“When he sings, he makes people cry, he makes people shout, he makes people have chills,” Johnson told “GMA.” “D’Corey is just an awesome kid. Everywhere he goes, everybody loves to hear him. His voice is soothing.”
D’Corey told “GMA” that he “loves” singing, adding that he’s a huge fan of Tina Turner and his favorite songs of hers to sing are “Proud Mary” and “River Deep.”
He also loves to act and is a fan of Shakespeare.
“I want to be a singer known as a triple threat,” he said. “That means that I can do everything — sing, act, tap.”
D’Corey has been tapped to sing the national anthem at an upcoming Tennessee Titans game.
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