All it took was one tweet for a Platte City, Missouri, girl to receive international attention after she sang with a country superstar.
Pulled onstage by Miranda Lambert, 8-year-old Remington Davenport, better known as Remi, received global coverage from People magazine, KISS FM and Sirius XM, after the singer tweeted a video of their interaction at a concert in Wichita, Kansas.
“This little girl has stolen my heart all night long and I just want to meet her, up close and personal,” Lambert said in the video.
Singing in front of thousands of people was a stark change from Remi’s usual audience.
“I sing for my dogs,” she said.
The clip of Remi singing with Lambert went viral, being viewed 5.6 million times on Facebook, and was picked up by shows like “Today” and “Entertainment Tonight.”
The moment was special for Remi and her mom, Chelsea Davenport, a longtime Lambert fan, as she’s watched her daughter grow up listening to empowering music by artists including Lambert and Dolly Parton. Davenport said their “take no guff, always be positive” messages helped, especially during Remi’s early years, which were filled with hospital visits.
“She was in the (newborn intensive care unit) for two weeks. (She had) two sheets full of issues, and we feel like we lived in Children’s Mercy for four years,” Chelsea Davenport said.
Remi’s health problems included a heart murmur, worrying skin tags on her ears, infused ribs and complications that resulted in a nerve dying on her face, which caused her to have a crooked smile.
“When she smiles, it does go down. It doesn’t bother her too much. But you get to that age, like you are different from another smile,” Chelsea Davenport said.
Singing the song “All Kinds of Kinds” with Lambert, Remi’s mother said it felt like a culmination of her struggles and triumphs. The song tells the story how it takes all kinds of people, from the dog-faced boy to the acrobat to the musicians, to make a supportive community and everyone should be accepted.
“To me, standing there, it was like there couldn’t be a better song,” she said.
In order to get to that moment, Chelsea Davenport said they went through a whole lot of craziness. Traveling three hours to Wichita, she said they wanted to be sure to get a front-row view. Thanks to some polite neighbors in the general admission area, they were successful. Then it got wild.
“This huge fight broke out right before Miranda came on ... It was some huge guys fighting, and they dumped a whole beer on top of (Remi)’s head. And then I look over because I’m ready to go nuts and here comes a beer at my head,” Chelsea Davenport said.
All of the waiting and fiascos were worth it, as Remi waved to Lambert and was charmingly reciprocated with an invite onstage.
“It was super emotional for all of us. We kind all got to know each other standing around forever. When Miranda started crying, we all lost it,” Chelsea Davenport said.
For Remi, “scary” and “exciting” were the two words that came to mind when she was asked about the experience.
“When we were walking to the back of the arena, the whole front row held out their hands and everyone was like ‘That’s Remi!’ We went to go get a T-shirt and everybody, they all wanted pictures and one guy asked for her signature,” Chelsea Davenport said.
During the past two weeks, Remi has served as an avatar for positivity.
“Hopefully (the video) will help a lot of girls or boys that have insecurities. It’s like ‘It’s OK to get up there. Like, you don’t need to hide because you have something different,’” Chelsea Davenport said.
At her school in Platte City, they celebrated Remi’s success with her music class having a “Miranda Day,” where they played songs by Lambert.
“I love what one of her teachers did. She printed out head shots for all the kids and Remi signed them all,” Chelsea Davenport said.
“Nerve racking” is how Remi described the multiple interviews she’s had during the past two weeks with big publications and shows. But she’s also embraced it and dressed up as “The girl who sang with Miranda Lambert” for Halloween.
While Remi’s viral fame dies down and she gets back to being a kid, playing with her Barbies and watching YouTube Kids, her mother said she hopes her message isn’t forgotten.
“You just want to help people and encourage them and be brave,” Chelsea Davenport said.