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Posted under: News

9-Year-Old Goes Viral For Rendition Of National Anthem In School

The third grader said he just wants his voice to "reach out to the world."

A 9-year-old elementary student from Louisville, Kentucky gave his classmates quite the treat with a now viral swooning rendition of the national anthem. 

DCorey Johnson from James H. Bates Elementary School asked to sing the song last week, ABC News reported. His jaw-dropping performance left the staff and students completely stunned. 

“When he was finished, I couldn’t finish the announcements,” the school’s principal Alecia Dunn said. 

According to Country Rebel, Dunn had recorded Johnson’s performance and uploaded it to the school’s official Facebook page after his signing left her speechless. She jokingly said, "It is not America’s Got Talent, it is Bates Got Talent!" 


Students returned last week for in-person classes and as usual, sang the national anthem each day after the morning announcements. But one day, Johnson asked his principal if he could sing on the intercom. He didn’t know he would become a sensation. 

“Now they want me to sing it at a baseball and at the football, at the school and everywhere,” Johnson said cheerfully.   

According to ABC News, the boy’s parents said their son started singing long before he could talk. His mother, Nakia Johnson, said he started singing at St. Stephen Baptist Church where “he would hum along to the song.”  

“He acts, loves to dance, play the piano, tap dance. He’s just a very very inspirational kid and everywhere we go everybody knows [DCorey] as the anointed one,” she told WLKY Louisville.  

Johnson’s teacher, Jessica Hart, told WLKY Louisville she first heard Johnson sing when he asked to do so after a Zoom class meeting. 

“He blew us all away,” she said.  

Since his viral performance, Johnson has been performing for his classmates, singing some of his favorite songs, including Tina Turner and Whitney Houston, WLKY Louisville reported. 

“I really love my classmates, it’s like they’re my audience,” Johnson said. 

The school now wants the third grader to perform at various school functions and for the University of Louisville. 

Hart also told WLKY Louisville that Johnson helps and inspires his classmates by teaching them life lessons. 

“I think that he inspires his classmates to be more confident in themselves and share their talents,” she said.  

“I just want my voice to reach out to the world,” Johnson said.   

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Danyella Wilder is a freelance writer and reporter currently based in Southern CA. She is a recent graduate of the Medill School of Journalism M.S. program at Northwestern University where she focused on magazine and feature writing. Danyella has a passion for writing about culture and uses her free time to engage in sustainable living practices.