A Vegas singer’s viral TikTok movies result in a Tremendous Bowl advert
TikTok users will hear a familiar voice on the Super Bowl commercials on Sunday – Christian Shelton, the 19-year-old Las Vegas college student who garnered millions of likes on the platform for his rousing covers of pop songs.
The job search company Indeed.com recruited Shelton to sing his version of the inspirational Andra Day ballad “Rise Up” for a 60-second commercial called “The Rising,” which shows Americans living during the COVID-19 pandemic Were affected by unemployment and faced a brighter future.
“It’s a song of progress and the overcoming of things – and hope,” Shelton said by phone from his family’s suburb in Las Vegas. “I was so grateful to Indeed for getting in touch.”
Shelton spoke to The Times about his cover of “Rise Up” ahead of last fall’s presidential election to get an article on how he, his father Allen; his older brother Allen Jr .; and his grandfather, Curtis Shelton, felt like black men living the Trump era.
As an anthem of overcoming adversity, “Rise Up” has a special meaning for the University of Nevada, the Las Vegas opera student and his family.
His father was the one who initially encouraged him to post a cover of the song on TikTok in June to show support for protests against racism and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis.
“It was the soundtrack for a lot of the movements, but with the Black Lives Matter movement it has a whole new meaning,” said Christian Shelton.
Fame suddenly came for Shelton.
His TikTok account has grown from a handful of followers at the start of the pandemic to over 675,000 as viral videos feature him singing covers of Day, Beyonce, Corinne Bailey Rae, and more. He was praised by Lizzo for his singing talent.
Now its uplifting style is going to be part of America’s most watched television event. 100 million viewers are expected to see the Kansas City Chiefs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday.
Given that millions of Americans remain unemployed during the sluggish economic recovery, the team that developed the commercial loved the forward-looking message of “Rise Up,” but instead of using the version of Day in the Super Bowl ad , they thought this was even more inspiring Jennifer Warren, vice president of global branding for the company, said to showcase an aspiring artist’s skill.
“The hardest part was finding someone who had the skills. We found Christian on TikTok and he just blew us away,” said Warren. “His soul, his attitude that everything will be fine … he was just so positive.”
Day, who wrote the song, liked Shelton’s cover and opted to use it for the commercial, Warren said.
The version that viewers will hear in the commercial was made specifically for that purpose, Shelton said. He recorded it at home in the family playroom upstairs after Indeed contacted him in January.
This isn’t Shelton’s only stroke of luck lately. The social media company just dubbed him one of their “Black TikTok Trailblazers” to celebrate Black History Month.
The list, compiled from user nominations, honors TikTok stars who “use their platform to educate, entertain and stand up for the black community”.
Shelton sounded enthusiastic and humble at the recognition.
“I think it’s really special that people could feel something from my videos that made them nominate me,” he said.