Wednesday, October 27, 2010

From Incident to Stardom

Kevin Antoine Dodson is a former resident of the Huntsville, Alabama, Lincoln Park housing project, whose interview on local television became an Internet sensation and resulted in an auto-tuned song with The Gregory Brothers that "has sold thousands of copies on iTunes and appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Dodson's interview was prompted after an alleged house intrusion and alleged attempted rape of his sister.

Dodson was interviewed on July 28, 2010, by NBC affiliate WAFF-48 News after the alleged attempted rape of his sister by an intruder in her bedroom, in the "projects" of Lincoln Park. The video of the interview caught attention due to the passionate and flamboyant style of his delivery, speaking directly to the camera, in which he directly addressed the people of his neighborhood as well as the would-be rapist, and his use of street vernacular. The reactions were mixed. Some local viewers phoned the TV station to complain that interviews with people such as Dodson reflected poorly on the community,whereupon the station defended broadcasting the interview by stating that censoring such people is "far worse". To millions of young followers, he was a cult hero. Jonathan Capehart, editorial page writer for The Washington Post, wrote that Dodson became an instant Internet sensation because "in this age of fake reality TV, he puts the real in reality", to which he later added that Dodson "is one of the strongest people we’ve seen in a while".

The video of Dodson's television interview "went viral" and then inspired several musical remixes, including a video by musical group The Gregory Brothers, known as the "Bed Intruder Song", which in turn inspired many further covers and remixes, including a punk rock version by a team formed by Hayley Williams of Paramore, Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory, and Ethan Luck of Relient K.

Dodson was interviewed for the Today Show on NBC on 26 August 2010 about his new found "Web superstardom". On the program, Dodson's YouTube video was called "one of the most watched online videos ever," with the hosts noting it had already been viewed over 16 million times as of that date. Dodson made an extensive detailed interview with the Gary and Dino Show with important aspects of what happened on the night of the incident. Dodson has done radio shows in Australia, has fans in London and is now widely recognized in his hometown of Huntsville.

Dodson launched a website in which he asks for donations to assist his family in moving "out of the hood". The money, as well as money from sales of "Bed Intruder" on iTunes and merchandise such as T-shirts, will go to helping his family buy a new home and setting up a foundation for juvenile diabetes, a disease that has afflicted both his sister and his mother. In August 2010, Dodson noted the irony of having "a hit on iTunes, but we're still in the projects"; one month later, Us Weekly reported that Dodson had made enough money from the song to move his family out of the projects to a better house. In September 2010, the Gregory Brothers reported that they had sold over 100,000 copies of The Bed Intruder Song on iTunes.

In October 2010, Dodson gave a live performance of "Bed Intruder Song" with Michael Gregory of The Gregory Brothers at the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards.

Dodson grew up in Chicago, and moved to Huntsville in 2004,where he attends Virginia College, working on an associate degree in business administration. He also works as a hairstylist. Antoine Dodson is the oldest of six children. In an online Q&A video with fans, he answered a question regarding his sexuality: "Am I bi[-sexual]? No. Gay? Yes." In an interview with CBS, Dodson told Shira Lazar that he had been a rape victim in the past.

Article in courtesy of

No comments: