Keith Urban Responds to Louisiana Gas Station Singer's Viral Cover of "Til Summer Comes Around"
Remember the name Bear Bailey.
Bailey has gained almost two million followers on the popular social media app in the two weeks he's been posting videos of himself serenading customers at the Super Serve gas station near his home in Houma, Louisiana. This week, Bailey, whose real name is James, even managed to catch the attention of country music superstar Keith Urban.
Nearly all of Bailey's videos follow the same format. He walks up to the cash register when the cashier hits him with a song request. The 33-year-old welder then delivers a goosebump-inducing performance, much to the delight (and surprise) of the customers in the store.
One day last week Bailey arrived at the counter holding popcorn, juice, and Reese's candy. "Come on, one time! Keith Urban," the cashier implored him as Urban's 2009 hit "Till Summer Comes Around" begins playing in the background.
Bashful at first, Bailey quickly switched into performance mode. The man behind him in line appeared to be in shock as Bailey nailed the country ballad.
The video has already been viewed more 9.7 million times. One of those views came from Urban himself, who shared the video on Twitter.
According to the HuffPost, Bailey has dreamed of becoming a professional singer since he was a child. He said he owes his newfound stardom to cashier Melissa McGee, known to locals as Mama, and her daughters Renee Hayes and Ashley McGee.
"They found out I could sing, you know, just from living around here, and so on the days that I would go in there to get a snack or whatever, they'd say, 'Hey, Bear, you've got to sing, you've got to sing for me,'" Bailey told HuffPost.
One day they recorded him, and Bailey decided to put the video online. He never could have expected what happened next.
"It's a very humbling feeling," he said. "I've sang my entire life, and, you know, I'm 33 and you just get to an age where you kind of give up on your dream because you're like, 'This is never going to happen.'"
"And then this happens and it kind of reaffirms, like, hey, I don't need to give up," he added. "I love what it's showing my daughter who's 5 years old, like, Dad didn't quit."