Silento, the 17-year-old rapper who’s having a pop culture moment with the dance craze to his debut song, wants to be a role model to the young kids who have posted videos dancing to his tune.

His “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” has continued to rise on the charts and gain millions of views on YouTube. “I always wanted to be a role model,” said Silento, born Ricky Hawke, in an interview.

Silento’s song has sold 892,168 tracks and boasts 150 million on-demand streams, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 songs chart and No. 2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

Fans have posted videos dancing to the popular song. NBA player Stephen Curry and his wife posted a video last week of their daughter, Riley, dancing to the song as she celebrated her third birthday.

“I was just like, ‘Wow! Wow!’ That’s all you can say,” Silento said of the song’s success. “I just be smiling. It looks like me when I was little.”

Bono cares about your eyes

Bono, who has had problems with his own vision, is partnering with a company to provide better eye care to the underprivileged. The “Buy Vision, Give Sight” campaign with eyewear brand Revo is designed to raise $10 million for screening, eyeglasses and other assistance to the impoverished. Revo will donate $10 for each pair of eyeglasses it sells, and the U2 frontman will introduce his own line of Revo sunglasses, which he has been wearing on U2’s sold-out tour, in the fall. Bono, who was diagnosed with glaucoma two decades ago, said “tens of millions of people around the world with sight problems don’t have access to glasses, or even a basic eye test.”


Teamwork: First Lady Michelle Obama is teaming up with rapper Wale to help college-bound teens overcome obstacles and succeed. More than 130 students were at the White House on Thursday for a “beating the odds” summit on making a smooth transition to college. The Grammy-nominated Wale told the students he didn’t take college seriously at first, and hoped he’d end up in the NFL. Wale said he landed on academic probation at first, but college eventually taught him to be self-made.


In memory: Broadway theaters will dim their marquee lights on Friday night in memory of Theodore Bikel, who starred on Broadway as Capt. Georg von Trapp in the original 1959 production of “The Sound of Music” and portrayed Tevye in many stage productions of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The Broadway League said the lights will be dimmed for one minute at 7:45 p.m. New York time. Bikel, a two-time Tony Award nominee, died Tuesday. He was 91.

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