Russell Horning was just an everyday regular kid doing his thing without having fame in mind. The saying that the gift of a man maketh a way for him and make him stand before kings and not ordinary men couldn’t be truer in the case of this gifted kid. He has been able to turn his ineptitude into an impressive online following with several celebrity followers.
He knows how to dance and just makes wonderful moves that defy understanding. It comes to him effortlessly and he had never thought it would land him into fame, at least, not the kind he enjoys currently. The bedroom was his stage like most of us has the bathroom as our singing stage where we have thousands of audience in our mind, who listens to the songs we sing – in hoarse voices sometimes you may want to add.
Rihanna posted a hilarious video of him on her Instagram page for her reaction to being nominated for eight Grammys in December 2016. The kid celebrated the milestone and the video went super viral being that many other pages posted it. He got 55K followers in two days owing to that.
The next year, in May 2017, he danced on Saturday Night Live with Katy Perry, an experience he described as really special and one of a lifetime.
Who is Russell Horning?
Russell Horning is the backpack kid who is known for his interesting and funny dance moves. He started posting the videos on Instagram after he performed before a live audience in a church camp in 2014. Russell reasoned that if he had such acceptance off the net, he could garner even more with the online community. And he sure got more and garnered fame that he never even imagined.
The backpack kid was born on December 19, 2001, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He has a younger sister named Jill and his mother, Anita Redd is his manager putting him in the category of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner who have momagers that got their back both at home and in the field.
Following his meteoric rise to stardom, he has scored a host of commercials for a number of brands. He shot a promotional video for the Georgia Swarm Lacrosse team at the Ronald Reagan Park and even appeared on their game on June 4, 2017. In addition, he did a commercial for Checkers to promote their $1 Fries campaign. There is also a move to design backpacks and other wears such as hoodies, socks, caps, T-shirts based on him.
What Did He Do to Become Famous?
While many got the fame ticket for appearing in a film or TV series or even a reality TV show, others for living out their passions be it music, fashion, or even infamous acts, Russell got his for doing what he claimed he is not good at – dancing – and that for a comedic kind of purpose.
Russell Horning is, simply put, famous for his dance moves. His signature dance moves called The Russell which fans also named Flossing is his claim to fame. In the dance move, he rapidly swings his arms around his body while shaking his hips and maintaining a stone-faced glare, with his backpack on of course. This move was what also got him a spot on Katy Perry‘s SNL performance of her new single Swish Swish.
He thinks the secret to his success is simple, he was just being himself and being original. While everyone else would try to dance in a good form to get famous, Russell Horning made up a new genre of dance and that was what blew him up.
The backpack kid has been on the internet since 2014 with his Instagram account originally registered as Majestic Cat Lover. In January 2015, with a little over 400k followers, he got his first big break when an Instagram user with 700k followers tagged him in a video. His followers skyrocketed by thousands more. He would later change his account name to i_got_barzz.
It seemed that with every name change of his account, comes a major rise and prominence. In January 2016, one of his dance videos went viral getting him a spot in fame avenue. His current account name, however, is thebackpackkid which has more than 1.7 million followers. Therein, he documents his dance moves.
How did he get to dance with Katy you may ask?
It is the case of time and chance happening to all or better put, opportunity meeting preparedness. It happened that the pop singer saw his account on her recommended page in May 2017, and seeing that he enjoys doing what he does, which is what she liked about him, she invited Russell to perform with her.
What is like every child’s dream, to appear on a national TV even if it is not with a famed personality became a reality for this one kid.
On the Saturday Night Live show, he showcased his star-making move and has been moving all over the United States with the one and the same move. He also starred in Katy’s video for the song. The music video has over 300 million views on YouTube. With his collab with the singer came an exponential increase in the number of his followers.
What is with the Backpack?
The starlet had no intention of being famed of all things, as a backpack kid. But things like that just happen. Who would have told the Selfiekid, 13-year old Ryan McKenna during the Justin Timberlake‘s 2018 Super Bowl halftime show in Minneapolis that he would be recognized as such?
According to Russel, his friend had a backpack on and it looked cool on him. He liked it and wanted it too. The two friends decided to trade and they did after which he started dancing with it. However, prior to the time the internet dubbed him The Backpack Kid, he was already a social media sensation on Instagram.
What is in the bag?
He carries a water bottle (to add weight to the bag so it doesn’t bounce about while he dances and to quench his thirst), a charger, and fidget spinners, a goat case (to stick his phone to a wall when he has to shoot a video), his wallet among other things that occasion may demand.
Russell Horning Other Interesting Facts
He released two original songs; Flossin’ and 2Litt and have a plan to join the music industry as a rapper one day.
Despite his celebrity status, he still maintains a normal kid lifestyle and does what other kids his age does like playing Xbox One and going to pool with friends, sleeping over at people’s houses.
His Instagram page description bears the phrase, ending racism. The caption sprung up after he faced an online backlash for dancing with blacks. However, he is of the idea that he is making the world a better place dancing with different races. At least, he’s got a social conscience even though he may not be an activist.
For his education, he uses a blend of traditional and online school to manage his net stardom. The normal school is to keep up with his social environment while the online part is so he can travel for his videos.
His fancy dance moves reached amazing heights in the fall of 2017 that a few NFL players like Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins adopted his signature move to celebrate touchdowns.
He danced to Rae Sremmurd‘s Swang in summer of 2017.
Russell has appeared in music videos by Usher-affiliated dance duo Ayo & Teo and Blac Youngsta.