Singers Stephen Barry, Charlotte Awbery Showcased In Viral Video
A video staged to showcase the talents of singers Charlotte Awbery and Stephen Barry has accomplished its goal of going viral – but one of them is getting a bigger piece of the spotlight.
Barry, who belted out a verse from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the video, has taken a back seat to Awbery, who has been singled out as a star for her performance of a verse from the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper duet “Shallow.”
Both professional singers were shot by Kevin Freshwater, a self-described “social media prankster, entertainer and purveyor of comic content” who has previously been commissioned by big brands like Sony and Lipton to create viral content.
In the video, Freshwater confronts people on the street and, in one case, inside a store, and asks them to “finish the lyrics” of popular songs. (At the 2:06 mark, Kugan Cassius – who has over half a billion YouTube views – is challenged with the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.)
To ensure the best acoustics, Awbery and Barry are the only ones in the video who sing inside a London subway station. Convincingly appearing to be caught off-guard by Freshwater’s demand to “finish the lyrics” as they get to the bottom of a set of stairs, both start by singing tentatively before perfectly delivering a full verse and then walking away.
Since the video was uploaded, Awbery’s social media accounts have gained thousands of new followers and media outlets are breathlessly covering her “impromptu” performance. Britain’s The Daily Mail reported: “A commuter who perfectly joins in on a singing prank has stunned social media with her pitch perfect vocals.”
Awbery is a 30-year-old professional singer from Romford in East London who performs at weddings and special events. She has shared her singing talent in dozens of video clips posted on Instagram, including covers of songs by Prince and Céline Dion.
BELOW: Watch Charlotte Awbery perform Sia's "Chandelier"
Barry, a 33-year-old native of Tralee, Ireland, is a musical theatre singer who was a finalist on Ireland’s Got Talent in 2018 and performed for the judges on X Factor. His YouTube channel is filled with videos of his live performances.
BELOW: Watch Stephen Barry perform on Ireland's Got Talent
On Twitter, many people believe Barry deserved more attention. “Everyone’s sleeping on subway guy singing queen,” one person wrote. “C’mon. He was jammin!” Another tweeted: “The guy singing Queen impressed me more.”
Comments on YouTube include "the boy in a checkered jacket was also fantastic" and "The guy singing Bohemian Rhapsody deserves some applause too!"
Reached by email, Barry declined to respond when asked if the video was staged. Awbery and Freshwater did not respond to interview requests.
This article has been updated since it was first published.
Listen to music from Lady Gaga & Queen