Russell Horning was just an ordinary boy who did his thing without thinking about fame. The saying that a man’s gift shows him a path and puts him before kings and not ordinary men could not be truer in the case of this gifted child. He has succeeded in transforming his inability into an impressive online following with several prominent followers.
He knows how to dance and makes simply wonderful movements that defy understanding. It comes to him effortlessly, and he never thought it would bring him fame, at least not the kind he currently enjoys. The bedroom was his stage, just as most of us have the bathroom as our singing stage, where we have thousands of spectators in our heads, listening to the songs we sing – with hoarse voices that sometimes you might want to add.
Rihanna has posted a hilarious video of him on her Instagram page for her reaction to her nomination for eight Grammys in December 2016. The boy was celebrating the milestone, and the video became super-viral as many other sites posted it. This gave him 55,000 followers within two days.
The following year, in May 2017, he danced live with Katy Perry on Saturday night, an experience he described as truly special and unique.
Who is Russell Horning?
Russell Horning is the backpack child, known for his interesting and funny dance moves. He started posting the videos on Instagram after performing in front of a live audience at a church camp in 2014. Russell justified this by saying that if he could gain such acceptance outside the net, he could gather even more in the online community. And he certainly got even more and gained fame that he could not even imagine.
The backpack child was born on December 19, 2001, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He has a younger sister named Jill and his mother, Anita Redd is his manager and puts him in the category of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, whose mothers have watched his back both at home and on the field.
After his meteoric rise to stardom, he has shot a variety of commercials for a number of brands. He shot a commercial video for Team Georgia Swarm Lacrosse at Ronald Reagan Park and was even present at their game on June 4, 2017. He also shot a commercial for Checkers to promote their $1 Fries campaign. Backpacks and other clothing items such as hoodies, socks, caps, and T-shirts were also designed after him.
What Did He Do to Become Famous?
While many got their fame badge for appearing in a movie or TV series or even a reality TV show, others got theirs for acting out their passions, be it music, fashion, or even infamous performances, Russell got his for doing what he’s supposedly not good at – dancing – and for a comedic purpose.
Russell Horning is, simply put, famous for his dance moves. His trademark, Russell, which fans also call flossing, is his claim to fame. When dancing, he quickly swings his arms around his body while wiggling his hips, with a stony face, of course with his backpack on his back. It was this movement that earned him a place in Katy Perry’s SNL performance of her new single Swish Swish.
He believes that the secret of his success is simple, he was simply himself and original. While everyone else was trying to dance in good form to become famous, Russell Horning was inventing a new genre of dance, and that’s what blew him away.
The backpacking kid has been online since 2014 with his Instagram account, originally registered as a Majestic Cat Lover. In January 2015, with just over 400k followers, he had his first big breakthrough when an Instagram user with 700k followers tagged him in a video. His followers shot up by thousands more. Later he changed his account name to i_got_barzz.
It seemed that every change of name of his account was accompanied by a great rise and popularity. In January 2016, one of his dance videos became famous and earned him a place on Fame Avenue. However, his current account name is the backpack kid, which has more than 1.7 million followers. In it, he documents his dance steps.
How did he get to dance with Katy you may ask?
It is the case that time and chance happen to everyone, or rather, the willingness to have a casual session. It happened that in May 2017 the pop singer saw his report on her recommended page, and since she saw that he liked what he did, what she liked about him, she invited Russell to perform with her.
What is like every child’s dream to appear on national television, even if it is not with a famous personality, became a reality for this one child.
On the Saturday night live show, he presented his step to stardom and has traveled all over the United States in one and the same step. He also played the lead role in Katy’s video for this song. The music video is viewed over 300 million times on YouTube. His collaboration with the singer has led to an exponential increase in the number of his followers.
What is with the Backpack?
The starlet had no intention of becoming famous as a backpack child, of all things. But these things just happen. Who would have told the Selfiekid, 13-year-old Ryan McKenna, during the halftime show of Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl 2018 in Minneapolis that he would be recognized as such?
According to Russell, his friend had a backpack on and it looked cool on him. He liked it and wanted to have it. The two friends decided to swap, which they did, and then he started dancing with it. But before 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 weigh the bag down so it won’t bounce around while dancing, and to quench his thirst), a charger and fidget, a goatskin (to tape his phone to the wall when he needs to shoot a video), his wallet, and other things that might be necessary on this occasion.
Russell Horning Other Interesting Facts
He released two original songs; Flossin’ and 2Litt and has plans to enter the music industry as a rapper one day.
Despite his celebrity status, he still leads a normal kid’s lifestyle and does what other kids his age do, like play Xbox One, shoot pool with friends and stay at people’s houses.
His description on the Instagram page carries the sentence that ends racism. The caption was taken after he was confronted online with a backlash over dancing with blacks. However, he believes that he is making the world a better place where people dance with different races. At least he has a social conscience, even though he may not be an activist.
For his education, he uses a mixture of traditional and online schools to manage his net star fame. The traditional school is used to keep up with his social environment, while the online part is used to allow him to travel for his videos.
His fancy dance moves reached an astonishing climax in the fall of 2017 when some NFL players like Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver Mack Hollins made his signature move to celebrate touchdowns.
In the summer of 2017, he danced to Rae Sremmurds Swang.
Russell has appeared in music videos of the Usher dance duo Ayo & Teo and Blac Youngsta.