LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Most people like watching the commercials during the Super Bowl, and this year there's an extra incentive for viewers in Las Vegas to tune in. A local singer will have his voice heard in one of the ads!
Christian Shelton is a 19-year-old UNLV student who only started seriously singing a few years ago.
But in that time, his TikTok covers have caught the attention of millions, and he's about to be heard by the whole world on Super Bowl Sunday.
In less than a year, Shelton has become a social media singing sensation, covering some of the most famous songs and singers, predominantly on TikTok.
"We started posting on TikTok last March, right after we shut down due to the pandemic," said Shelton.
"I just posted my first video and second video on TikTok and I got like 300 likes, and I was like, 'Oh wow, that’s so many likes,' at the time," he recalled.
"I showed my parents and they were so excited and so I decided to keep going."
"And from then, it just grew into hundreds of thousands of people now following me," he said. "Which, I’m so grateful for all of them, and everyone is so kind to me on there."
From Freddy Mercury to Adele to one of his personal favorites -- Sam Smith -- Shelton has gained internet fame for putting his own spin on some of recent history's most famous songs.
He's even been personally recognized by several celebrities for his incredible voice.
"Since I began posting on TikTok, I’ve been noticed by Sam Smith and Lizzo," he said.
"Other celebrities on Instagram who follow me, like Scott Hoying of Pentatonix and Chloe Fineman from SNL, Karamo from Queer Eye, SZA," he said, "so many celebrities who have reached out or followed me and have been so nice."
Recently, he received news from a Los Angeles-based ad agency about the biggest break yet in his young career, the chance to sing in a Super Bowl commercial.
"She emailed me and said that it was going to be for the company Indeed" he said. "After she said that I was like, 'What? ...wow that’s so huge!'"
"And then, on top of that, she said it’s going to be for the Super Bowl," he continued. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is insane...me?'"
"I couldn’t believe that, out of everyone that they looked for, I was the one they chose," said Shelton.
The Indeed commercial is all about helping struggling job seekers to rise up and overcome the challenges presented by this pandemic, something Shelton says was easy to get behind.
"Seeing actual people who have gone through it, you can feel that story just by looking at them. And then, with the lyrics of the song and the progression of the story of the song, I think it really ties it all together," he said.
He's hoping to turn his new-found fame into a long musical career and to rise up and make his own music someday.
"This is what I want to do. I want to be a musical artist. I want to make music and this is what I want to do," said Shelton.
He credits his parents the most for supporting him in everything he does.
This news is even more exciting for the staff at 13 Action News because Shelton's mom, Wendy Shelton, is the local sales manager at Channel 13.
Needless to say, the entire 13 Action News family will be glued to the TV on Sunday, watching for his commercial.