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Drummer expert Chrisyius Whitehead talks about America's Got Talent

His family's life may never be the same after five-year-old Chrisyius Whitehead wowed celebrity judges and audiences nearly three weeks ago when the drumming sensation performed on “America's Got Talent.”

In Sopchoppy, their hometown of less than 500 people, people recognize his cute, round face. Those who routinely go to the supermarket are now greeted by adoring fans and residents who hug and congratulate Chrisyius.

They are simply amazed that such a young child could produce a drum solo that even made judge Simon Cowell, known for his scathing criticism, rave about the performance and praise the boy for his masterful performance.

“He just knew he was doing something he loved, playing drums,” said Dawandrea Whitehead, Chrisyius' mother. She was thrilled to see her son shine on “such a huge stage in front of so many people on one of the biggest shows on television.”

She admits that before and during the performance she was a mess of nervousness, excitement and gratitude.

This morning, however, Chrisyius stood up purposefully and confidently, as if he had already introduced himself on stage.

Chrisyius has spent his entire short life surrounded by music. He picked up his first drumsticks at the age of one. His family of ten, which includes brothers and sisters aged one to 17, also loves music; several siblings also play instruments.

In an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, Pastor Christopher Whitehead and Dawandrea Whitehead talked about how overjoyed they were to see him perform before a live audience and millions of television viewers.

“The realization just came,” said Christopher Whitehead, who also plays drums and is pastor of Mount Olive Primitive Baptist Church in Gainesville.

Just before his son took the stage, Christopher Whitehead gave him some advice: have fun, do what you love, and rock out. Chrisyius understood the task so well that he belted out sounds and drumming techniques they didn't even know he had mastered.

More: Chrisyius Whitehead, 5-year-old drummer from Sopchoppy, wows America's Got Talent

During the interview with the Democrat, Chrisyius was asked if he was nervous on stage and he said, “Not at all. I'm not nervous, nor am I afraid of anything.”

His performance earned him a chance to advance in the show's talent competition, which carries a grand prize of $1 million. A spokesperson for the show said his appearance on America's Got Talent is set for a date to be determined.

Until then, Chrisyius will continue to receive one of his favorite things in the world – slime. He told the AGT judges he would use his winnings to help people and buy lots of slime. But viewers and fans are already making his dream come true by sending him as much slime as he can handle.

When asked what he wanted people to know about him, Chrisyius said he wanted people to know that he was a tough drummer. “I do my best. Playing drums makes me excited. And last but not least, I go up there and do my thing.”

If you would like to gift him some kid-friendly slime, you can send it to Chrisyius Whitehead, PO Box 374, Sopchoppy, FL 32358.

Contact economic development reporter TaMaryn Waters at tlwaters@tallahassee.com and follow @TaMarynWaters on X.

Anna Harden

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