TikTok users will hear a familiar voice on Sunday’s Super Bowl commercials – 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 In der Tatcom recruited Shelton to sing his version of the inspirational Andra Day ballad “Rise Up” for a 60-second commercial titled “The Rising,” which shows Americans fighting during the COVID 19 pandemic were hit by unemployment and looked to a brighter future

“It’s a song of progress and overcoming things – and hope,” Shelton said on the phone from his family 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 for an article on how he, his father Allen; his older brother Allen Jr;; and his grandfather Curtis Shelton felt like black men who lived through the Trump era

“Rise Up” is an anthem about overcoming adversity and has a special meaning for the University of Nevada, the Las Vegas opera student and his family

His father was the one who originally 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

His TikTok account has gone from a handful of followers at the start of the pandemic to more than 675000 because of viral videos showing him singing covers of Day, Beyonce, Corinne Bailey Rae, and others. He was praised by Lizzo for his singing talent

Now, his uplifting style will be part of America’s most watched TV event 100 million viewers are expected to be seen on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs battle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Given that millions of Americans remain unemployed during the sluggish economic recovery, the team that developed the commercial were delighted with the seminal message of “Rise Up,” but rather than the version of Day in the Super Bowl- Using ad they thought it would be even more inspiring to demonstrate the skills of an aspiring artist, said Jennifer Warren, vice president of global branding for the company

“The hardest part was finding someone who had the necessary skills We found Christian on TikTok and he just blew us away, “said Warren.” His soul, his attitude “everything will be fine” He was just so positive ”

Day, who wrote the song, liked Shelton’s cover and opted out of using it for the commercial, Warren said

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The version viewers will hear in the commercial was created specifically for this 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 named him as 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”

“I really love that people could sense something from my videos that made them nominate me,” he said

Tyrone Beason is a Los Angeles Times reporter who writes about America through the lenses of race and culture.Previously covering the 2020 presidential election. Before joining the paper in 2019, the Kentucky native spent nearly 25 years with the Seattle Times in the Pacific Northwest Follow him on Instagram @tyrone_california and Twitter @tyrone_beason

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Source: https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-02-06/a-las-vegas-tiktok-sensation-sings-in-a-superbowl-ad