Skyrocketing to fame with an over-sized voice, a huge love of classic Country and enormous personality to match, 11-year-old Mason Ramsey is the biggest little star in Country music today.
An internet sensation who’s captured the hearts of millions of fans, Ramsey was discovered in 2018 when a foot-tapping video of the youngster yodeling in a Walmart located in Harrisburg, Illinois, went viral. Since then he’s charmed on national television and dazzled the trendiest music festivals, become the youngest Country artist to sign with a major record label in a generation, stood tall on the Grand Ole Opry stage and released an acclaimed debut single, “Famous” – but his journey is only just getting started.
Living the vast majority of his 11 years in the tiny, tight-knit community Golconda, Illinois, Ramsey was raised by his grandparents from the age of three weeks old. Describing their home as a time capsule of sorts (with no internet connection but an extensive stack of classic records), Ramsey’s grandfather would occasionally host huge karaoke barbecues which the whole town would attend, and by the age of three Ramsey was right in the middle of it.
“Literally before he was doing sentences and phrases, he was picking up on singing,” recalls Daysha Broadway, his older cousin. “Mason is a very old soul when it comes to music – and his temperament and personality.”
Influenced strongly by icons like Hank Williams Sr., Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Randy Travis, but also by new-school Country and Pop stars including Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, and Ed Sheeran, Ramsey made his first public appearance at the Kentucky Opry just two weeks after he turned four. Wowing the crowd with a dynamic vocal presence that’s impossible to ignore, he went on to sing with Country star Josh Turner that same year, opened a show for Gene Watson at age five, and took the stage with the legendary Kenny Rogers at seven.
But Ramsey’s big heart often shines brighter than the spotlight pointing his way. He loves entertaining the residents of local nursing homes, and since the nearest city is about an hour away from his home, his family would make a day of those trips. They’d stop by Walmart after his performance, and usually the gifted vocalist – who has never taken a lesson – would still be in a singing mood.
That’s what happened the day his viral video was filmed. Still dressed in his crisp white shirt, red bow tie and boots, Ramsey was singing aloud when a woman recognized his voice from two aisles over. She stopped and asked to film while he continued singing Willams Sr.’s iconic “Lovesick Blues,” and the rest, as they say, is history. Barely 30 days later, Ramsey was a bona fide pop-culture phenomenon, his Walmart video gathering views in the tens of millions.