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How 'Old Town Road' Sparked a Boy's 'Miracle'

Minnesota mom Sheletta Brundidge couldn't believe it
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2019 4:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – "I was crying so hard that tears were dropping on his head. I was like, 'This is the beginning. This is the light!'" So says a Minnesota mom after the hit song "Old Town Road" appeared to transform the life of her autistic son Daniel, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Sheletta Brundidge, the mother of four children—three of whom have autism—says the story is rooted in her family's love for the country-rap song by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus. "I hear 'Old Town Road' probably eight hours a day," she tells the Tennessean. "They wake up and listen to it, and they go to bed and listen to it. It's literally playing right now. ... It's pretty much a part of our family."

Meanwhile, 4-year-old Daniel was enrolled in speech therapy but remained mostly nonverbal, unlike his siblings—which meant he couldn't join in family singalongs of "Old Town Road," per Today. Brundidge and her husband Shawn were "beating our head up against the wall" when she saw a "miracle": One day Daniel began humming the tune, and out of the blue he just sang the lyrics. In a rush she grabbed her phone and recorded him as she called Shawn and her tears fell. She posted the emotional footage on Twitter, prompting retweets from Cyrus and Lil Nas X, who added, "what a king." Now Brundidge and Shawn plan to give Daniel a lot more music therapy—"and not that 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' stuff," she says. (See how Cyrus helped the song get wider attention.)

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