- Mason Ramsey found internet fame at 12 years old with a video of him yodeling in Walmart in 2018.
- He largely disappeared from the internet until his 2019 song recently went viral on TikTok.
- He's now returned to the app, where he's gained 1.9 million followers and been praised by fans.
- For more stories visit www.BusinessInsider.co.za
Child internet star Mason Ramsey has seen a second wave of fame after one of his old songs became a widespread meme on TikTok.
Ramsey first found fame at 12 years old when a now deleted Twitter video of him yodeling in an Illinois Walmart to the song "Lovesick Blues" by Hank Williams went viral in March 2018. The tweet received 40,000 retweets, and an existing version of the video on YouTube called "Walmart Yodelling Kid" has 2.7 million views.
Ramsey was quickly propelled to fame, releasing his debut single "Famous" and appearing on "The Ellen Show" in April 2018. But following an initial wave of internet stardom, Ramsey largely disappeared from the public eye for over two years.
Now, he's returned to the internet and is once again capturing the online imagination, leading to a huge spike in interest in his music. Here's how his comeback played out.
Ramsey's 2019 song resurfaced on TikTok
One of the original videos posted on January 20 by @goobmac has 5 million likes, with many commenters saying they are shocked that the "yodel boy" produced a good song.
One top comment with 12,000 likes said, "I hate country music BUT THIS IS SO GOOD LIKE ACTUALLY." A similar video posted by @ohyeahtoenailchewer on January 21 has been viewed 17 million times.
Jared Shult, who has 213,000 TikTok followers and who posted a video dancing to the song, told Insider he thinks people were genuinely surprised by the quality of Ramsey's music when it resurfaced on TikTok because "everyone just saw him as a meme."
As a country music fan, Shult said, "it passes my test. It's super catchy and I love it."
As the sound went viral, other users built on the meme further, using the song in videos that expressed delight at things including their toddler's reactions, amusing behavior from pets, and posting about things that make them happy.
Ramsey returned to TikTok following his song's revival
Ramsey created a TikTok account in March 2021 but stopped posting videos four months later. He returned after his song started to receive attention, first posting again on January 20 by duetting a "yodel boy" video by Tobias Buecheler and performing a line dance to the song.
Beucheler told Insider he was happy to be the first person that Ramsey duetted. "I think I kind of started something with the whole bait-and-switch thing as part of the joke," he said of the meme format.
Ramsey has since posted a series of video duets with TikTokers as they dance to his song, and has racked up 1.9 million followers.
He frequently posts videos at his workplace, an old Subway that is now a pizzeria and sandwich shop. In one video with 23 million views, Ramsey filmed himself making pizza, with "Before I Knew It" playing in the background. Top comments praised him for having a "minimum wage job like every other teen" and "knowing the value of a dollar."
The song has seen a spike in interest across other platforms too
The TikTok trend has also translated into millions of Spotify listeners. A screenshot of Ramsey's Spotify page from public internet archive The Wayback Machine shows that Ramsey had 446,000 monthly listeners on December 24, 2021. As of today, he has 8 million monthly listeners.
When Ramsey released "Before I Knew It" in 2019, it did not chart on any major platform. However, on January 28, 2022, a week after the song became popular on TikTok, the song reached #100 on the Irish Singles Chart.
Mason Ramsey did not respond to Insider's request for comment.