Mary Halsey scored a viral hit with her outdoor karaoke version of “Work It” — and even Missy Elliott is a fan.
The video of the rending from the self-proclaimed “funky white sister” of Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott has been making its way around the internet in the past 24 hours, racking up millions of views across social media. In the video, the middle-aged woman rocks out to the song while at a barbeque in a park in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, to the approval of the few people in attendance.
She can count her “sister” as a fan too. Missy Elliott found the video this week, sharing it on social media with a message of approval for Halsey.
“She straight up killed ‘Work it’ with the yea yea yea at the beginning & the sound effects & all,” she wrote on Twitter and Instagram.
As USA Today noted, this is not the first time that Mary Halsey has scored a viral hit. Though she may not look the part of a hip-hop star, she has gotten plenty of attention for her other covers of rap and pop songs and gotten a local following.
“Halsey doesn’t limit her skills to just one song. She’s also performed hits like ‘My Humps’ by the Black Eyed Peas. Last year, she performed her cover of this dance hit at Warwick Mall in Rhode Island,” the report noted. “Other artists in her repertoire? Jason Mraz, Bob Marley, and Bob Dylan. Some covers even include some harmonica skills!”
Mary Halsey already has a page on Facebook with about 13,000 followers, and USA Today noted that they have started something of a campaign to get her on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Ellen has been fond of giving a spotlight to viral stars, especially the more unusual ones like Halsey, but so far there is no response from the daytime talk show host.
Her popularity appears to be soaring regardless. Mary is already getting plenty of attention locally, making appearances on local radio and television stations after her version of “Work It” went viral, and now is getting nationwide attention as news outlets pick up the viral video.
When she’s not rocking out, Mary Halsey works as a recreation assistant at a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Rhode Island. More videos of Mary and her karaoke skills can be found on her Facebook page, where she has shared footage from other performances.