A Cottage Grove mom and radio personality has thanked the rising young rap star who wrote the song that helped her mostly nonverbal son speak — through song — some of his first words last week.
Sheletta Brundidge, a WCCO radio producer and podcast host, called rapper Lil Nas X on Tuesday and posted their emotional conversation on the radio station’s website. She said the conversation went out live on the air.
“The light that is in you has given us as parents a way to see a way out of this situation and to give my son his voice,” she told him.
Brundidge said she couldn’t thank the 20-year-old Atlanta rapper enough for the hit song that inspired her 4-year-old son Daniel, who has autism, to sing.
Daniel previously had spoken just a few short phrases. But last Tuesday, he spontaneously began humming and then singing the words to “Old Town Road,” the rap-meets-country tune sung by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Brundidge’s clip of Daniel quietly singing took the internet by storm. The family’s story has since appeared in People magazine and on national TV news. Lil Nas X’s manager sent a tweet to Brundidge, and they set up the call.
Daniel’s foray into music is significant, she said.
“I realized that he can learn and he can sing and he can recall information,” Brundidge said. “I realized that there was hope for my child to be just a regular kid.”
In response, Lil Nas X told Brundidge that he was at “a loss for words.” He said that he never imagined a song he created might affect her and her son so deeply.
“I’m happy to say that my blessings have rubbed off on you guys,” he said.
Lil Nas X added that he was willing to help the family however he could, and said their story would give others hope.
“Everybody’s destiny is intertwined,” he said, echoing a sentiment Brundidge expressed. “People that have seen it happen with your son, it’s going to rub off on them.”