Mason Ramsey, the 11-year-old online yodeling sensation who racked up thousands of views and became an internet celebrity after singing a cover of Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” in the air mattress aisle of an Illinois Walmart, performed for thousands more this weekend at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California. Ramsey took the festival stage with DJ Whethan to sing the song that made him famous. Naturally, he was wearing a cowboy hat and shitkickers.
The Coachella appearance is just the latest stop for the Ramsey publicity train, which pulled out of the station at speed when the video of him singing blew up. The 11-year-old, who lives with his grandparents and has been singing since he could talk, now has close to 200,000 followers on Twitter and closer to one million on Instagram. Before taking the stage in front of the festival folk, he’d already performed “Lovesick Blues” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. After playing on the show, he was informed that he’d won a $15,000 scholarship from Walmart.
yo @whethanmusic just brought out the yodel kid at coachella!!
Interestingly, Ramsey seems to have turned down an opportunity to share the stage with rapper Post Malone, a more famous performer, at Coachella in favor of singing “Lovesick Blues” at the Grand Ole Opry in Kentucky — like Hank Williams did back in 1949. He is, in other words, staying true to his roots while making some compromises to keep the hipsters happy. He’s also popularizing the work of a legend that few young people know about. His rendition of “Lovesick Blues,” according to Forbes, has actually catapulted the live radio broadcast of Williams’s version from his 1950 compilation album, “The Garden Spot Programs,” to the number four spot on Spotify’s Viral 50 Global. That’s likely due to the song’s 2,452 percent spike in Spotify streams between late March and early April.
Ramsey learned about yodeling and developed a love for Williams’ music by listening to his grandfather’s records. Right before being told about the performance at the Grand Ole Opry, Ramsey confessed to DeGeneres that his dream was to sing at the venue. When the boy learned that dream would come true, he was at a loss for words, simply uttering, “Oh my god.”