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Life After Viral Fame: What Is The Backpack Kid Doing Now?

Dinesh Shrestha

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Russell Horning, Aka The Backpack Kid, now 22, is creating videos for his YouTube channel, where he posts official music videos and other content.

Recently, he also released a song named ‘Circus Song,’ which got mixed reviews from the audiences.

In April, he posted a video on Instagram where Russell was dancing with the funny step at the Atlanta Worldwide Gallery store. He started working there but eventually thought people would recognize him and make fun of him.

Nonetheless, people were just genuinely happy to meet him in person. The Backpack Kid also recently reacted to the Snapchat video titled ‘The sad story of the Backpack kid.’

Now, he wanted to see how much of the information was correct, but he said that multiple pieces of the story were missing.

The Backpack Kid was famous for performing a signature dance move, “Floss,” on Saturday Night Live with Katy Perry.

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Russell Horning’s Journey from Ordinary Kid to “Backpack Kid”

The social media influencer was born in Georgia on December 19, 2001. He grew up with two older brothers and a little sister. According to an interview with Before They Were Famous, he grew up as a class clown and always liked to entertain others.

In the summer of 2015, Russell discovered he could entertain others by performing comedic dance moves. Then he performed the “Floss” dance move for the first time at Church Camp in the same year.

Russell Horning
Russell Horning, aka The Backpack Kid at San Pedro Sula [Photo: Instagram]

Later, the influencer began posting videos of his dances on his Instagram profile, ultimately dragging famous celebrities’ attention.

On December 7, 2016, his dance move caught the attention of Barbadian singer Rihanna. She posted one of his videos on Instagram with the caption, “When I found out about my eight nods!!! shout out to the academy,” and tagged him.

Then in the next couple of days, he gained over fifty thousand followers on his Instagram profile.

Katy Perry Catapulted Russell into “Backpack Kid” Stardom

Now that he had amassed thousands of followers in such a short time, he began gaining traction in the mainstream. Katy Perry also found out about his videos and watched them once.

Then Katy invited him to dance to one of her songs on Saturday night live. Her performance was particularly flashy, including a variety of dancers and drag queens with heavy makeup and shiny clothes.

The Backpack Kid adopted a dog [Photo: Instagram]

However, the one person who stole the show was Russel, who danced to the song Swish Swish in front of a massive number of people. He was wearing everyday clothes and his trademark backpack.

Now that was the day that The Backpack Kid became a household name.

This is what actually made him famous, and that same year Russell starred in the official video for Swish Swish along with huge stars Like Terry Crews, Gayton Matarezzo, and Christine Cedelco.

He was clearly enjoying the recognition, and he even shared a picture of his accomplishment plaque on his Instagram, which included newspaper clippings.

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The Backpack Kid Got the Wrong Type Of Attention

Undoubtedly, he gained massive followers on his Instagram after being on TV. So, He wanted to keep himself famous and started to keep people entertained with other content on YouTube.

Russell continuously uploaded dance videos, but he went overboard for one of his videos.

With the mindset of entertaining people, he uploaded the video of himself using a BB gun to shoot a goat in the eyes. The Backpack Kid immediately removed the video from YouTube.

Of course, the moment that video went live, netizens had taken over. Although the video was removed from the source, copies were floating around.

This incident could end his career, but he had some fans to hold on to, and the incident was ignored later. Russell had also uploaded a video explaining that the goat was fine.

The Backpack Kid Started Pursuing a Music Career

Backpack Kid started to be active on YouTube and constantly uploaded videos; some of his videos were unconventional and involved doing strange stuff with a deliberately unfunny attitude.

Although, Russell rode the momentum and started pursuing a music career. In February 2017, he released his first single, ‘Flossin,’ with DJ Suede which gained millions of views, but people disliked it.

Then in 2018, he again released his song ‘2 Litt,’ which got a positive response.

One year later, the Backpack Kid song ‘Balenciagas’ got mixed reviews, but one user commented, “He proves that it takes no talent to become famous.”

Last year, he released a song, ‘2022 Insecure,’ in collaboration with Ray Rockman. The music video didn’t get many views, but people liked it.