- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - A video of Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences students performing a rendition of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” is creating some online happiness of its own.

The 40-member choir recorded the video earlier this month, MLive.com and the Detroit Free Press reported. As of Wednesday morning, a version posted March 7 on YouTube had been viewed more than 460,000 times. And it’s prompted requests for TV appearances.

The cellphone video was recorded by Edward Bone, whose daughter is among the choir’s third to eighth grade students.

“Really, it was just me being proud of my daughter … and wanting people to see what a good job they’re doing,” Bone said. “It’s like the song says, happy. I’m happy to be a proud parent of one of the students.”

Choir director Angela Kee said the video was made after a producer for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” requested a recording. The students helped create the choreography and Kee said she’s “tickled and pleased and amazed” by the positive response.

“I picked the song because it is a favorite of the children,” she said. “It’s catchy. It’s easy to teach, and the lyrics are positive. It drives negativity out of your heart. “I can hear the children singing and whistling the song in the hallway after they’ve left class.”

The video of the children singing the Oscar-nominated song from “Despicable Me 2” features 10-year-olds Samuel Pickens and Asia Newson as lead vocalists.

Samuel said that both the music and lyrics of “Happy” energize and inspire him.

“When I first heard that song, I really felt it. It says can’t nobody bring you down, and I really feel that way, too,” he said.

Maurice Morton, the CEO of the roughly 1,000-student charter school, hopes that the YouTube attention will aid fundraising efforts for the choir’s planned May trip to Disney World, where it will perform.

“We’re in awe, we’re just amazed,” Morton said of the feedback.



Video of performance: https://bit.ly/1g9ZRUU

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