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Cottage Grove mom talks to rapper Lil Nas X, says thank you for giving her son a voice

Saint Paul Pioneer Press - 6/11/2019

Jun. 11--The Cottage Grove mother of the non-verbal autistic boy who shocked his family by singing "Old Town Road" got to say thank you Tuesday to the song's composer Lil Nas X.

"I can't thank you enough for what you did for my baby," said Sheletta Brundidge, a producer at WCCO Radio and host of the "Two Haute Mommas" podcast. She reached him by phone and posted the conversation on the radio's website.

Last week Brundidge had been at home doing dishes wondering what more she could do for her four-year-old son Daniel who had hit a wall with his therapy and seemed to be destined to live life without a voice. Suddenly Daniel, who was standing beside her in the kitchen started singing "Old Town Road," a family favorite that he'd heard at home many times.

Brundidge was shocked to hear him singing the lyrics. She grabbed her phone and recorded the moment. She posted it on social media and the clip went viral after Lil Nas X, a 20-year-old Atlanta rapper, commented on the tweet, saying "What a king."

On Tuesday, she was able to tell Lil Nas X the story herself and thank him for his part in what she is calling Daniel's breakthrough.

She introduced the rapper as "The man who gave my son the light," and "The man who gave my son his voice."

Lil Nas X said he was pleased to have had a hand in Daniel's progress.

"I'm at a loss for words. I'm happy to see my blessings have rubbed off on you guys," he said. "I'm here to help any way that you need me to. You have my number."

An emotional Brundidge told him how she felt that day.

"In a small voice he just started singing your song. I realized that he could learn," she said. "I realized that there was hope for my child to just be a regular kid and not have to stay in special education. The light that it is in you has shined down and it has given him a clear path for how he is going to get healed from autism."

Lil Nas X said her story would give others hope.

"Everybody's destiny is intertwined," he said. "People that have seen it happen with your son, it's going to rub off on them."


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