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Detroit Student Choir Gets 700,000-Plus Views On YouTube

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(credit: Marie Osborne/WWJ)

(credit: Marie Osborne/WWJ)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - A cell phone video featuring a group of students at the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences has gone viral.

The video, a rendition of Pharrell Williams “Happy,” has received hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube, and the kids are getting some national media attention.

DAAS Choir Director Angela Kee said the video was taken by a parent at a rehearsal.

“Because this is something that we do every day, all the time,” Kee told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Marie Osborne. “The children have been on over 50 field trips over the last two years.”

Student De’Mauri Ward said he has to fight to get the lead in the song.

“At first she said I was too sharp, so I kinda went home and my mama said, ‘Let me hear you perform’,” De’Mauri said. “She told me what my mistake was, I just fixed it, and Ms. Kee gave me the solo.”

School Director Maurice Morton said the kids work hard to take part in this choir, and they deserve the praise.

“They’re talented, they’re smart, they’re energized, they’re inspirational, they’re motivational,” he said.

“To think that this song has resonated! We’re at 600,000 hits already. They’ll probably reach almost a million by the weekend,” Martin said.

As that number continues to grow (up past 700,000 by Wednesday afternoon!), singer Kamyria Brown said she’s getting used to being recognized out in public. “Oh my gosh, Kamyria (they say)! I just watched your video, girl!”

Although this is the group’s most viewed video to date, it’s not their first brush with fame.

In 2012, the choir wrote new, Detroit-themed lyrics to the Jay Z and Alicia Keys song “Empire State of Mind,” and the professionally edited video was shown on national morning news shows.

Last year, they recorded the Black Eyed Peas’ “Where is the Love.”

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