In his statement about George Floyd, Obama praised 12-year-old Keedron Bryant for his powerful, viral song 'I just wanna live'

ktenbarge@businessinsider.com (Kat Tenbarge)
Keedron Bryant is an accomplished gospel singer at age 12, having appeared on NBC's "Little Big Shots."

Screenshot YouTube/Keedron Bryant

  • In his statement on the death of George Floyd, Barack Obama said a friend of his shared a tribute song written and performed by 12-year-old gospel singer Keedron Bryant. 
  • Bryant's "I just wanna live" is a powerful 50-second song that went viral after the young artist, who appeared on NBC's reality talent competition "Little Big Shots," posted it on Instagram
  • In it, he sings "I'm a young black man, doing all that I can stand." Obama wrote "The circumstances of my friend and Keedron may be different, but their anguish is the same."
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Barack Obama gave a special nod to a 12-year-old gospel singer in his statement on the kiling of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck. Chauvin was fired, along with three other officers, and he was taken into custody on May 29 after protests in Minneapolis and around the US.

Obama issued his statement on May 29. Obama wrote that he wanted to "share parts of the conversations" he's had with friends over the course of the week after viral footage of the incident circulated online, stoking anger and frustration. 

"Another friend of mine used the powerful song that went viral from 12-year-old Keedron Bryant to describe the frustrations he was feeling," Obama wrote in the statement, which was posted to his Twitter account.

"The circumstances of my friend and Keedron may be different, but their anguish is the same," the former president wrote. "It's shared by me and millions of others."

Bryant's emotional tribute to Floyd was posted to his Instagram account, where he now has more than 176,000 followers, on May 27. The young gospel singer from Jacksonville, Florida, was featured on season 4 of NBC's reality talent competition series "Little Big Shots."

The song, titled "I just wanna live," is a moving 50-second clip about life as a "young black man" for Bryant. "My people don't want no trouble, we've got enough struggle," he sings. "I just wanna live. God, protect me."

Bryant's song has earned him praise from numerous celebrities and other famous figures, including Janet Jackson, rapper Nas, LeBron James, and actress Eva Longoria, who all shared Bryant's video on their own Instagram pages. 

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