US & Canada

Keedron Bryant: Warner Records signs black protest singer, 12

Keedron Bryant Image copyright Instagram/ Keedron Bryant
Image caption Keedron's heartfelt song was praised by Barack Obama and Lebron James

A 12-year-old black boy whose song about the fears of being a young African American went viral has been signed by a major US record label.

Keedron Bryant's song I Just Wanna Live, posted online one day after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is out on Friday.

Warner Records timed the release to coincide with Juneteenth, which marks the end of centuries of US slavery.

The song has already racked up millions of likes.

The soulful track was written by Keedron's mother and is sung a cappella by him.

It includes the lyrics: "I'm a young black man, doing all that I can to stand.

"Oh, but when I look around, and I see what's being done to my kind.

"Every day I'm being hunted as prey. My people don't want no trouble."

The young gospel singer's original Instagram post has attracted over 3m likes, and has drawn praise from former President Barack Obama, basketball legend LeBron James, singer Janet Jackson and actress Lupita Nyong'o.

"It's very exciting because this is what God's called me to do," Keedron, of Jacksonville, Florida, told the Associated Press earlier this week.

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Media caption'A celebration of life. A celebration of freedom': What you need to know about Juneteenth

"It's just been an exciting experience to work with my mom."

His mother, Johnnetta Bryant, said that watching the video of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, dying as a police officer knelt on his neck last month "really hit my heart just so deeply because I am a mom to a black son.

"I have a black husband. I have black brothers, uncles, cousins, friends."

Warner plans to donate the profits to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.