Rushawn’s ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ captures world’s attention
A youngster who used music to improve his academic performance in primary school has won the hearts of millions of people worldwide with his rendition of It’s A Beautiful Day, a song that has become a global anthem.
Now age 16, Rushawn Ewears who sang the song – composed as Beautiful Day by a Jamaican gospel singer Jermaine Edwards – when he was 10 years old during lunchtime in his class at the Top Hill Primary School in St Elizabeth, recalled his former principal, Cavene Bisasor-Headlam.
She describes his story as one of “rags to riches”, noting that the youngster had everything going against him.
“Academically, he was not doing well, and he was at the lowest socio-economic level, but, because he wanted to write and sing his own songs, he decided he had to learn to read,” the educator recalled.
Music lovers from as far away as Malaysia, Indonesia, Africa, parts of Europe, the North, South and Central Americas, and the Caribbean have contributed to Rushawn’s rendition becoming an overnight hit, making the youngster an instant sensation.
Many have described him as a blessing, particularly, during a time when the world needs its spirit lifted.
“There is an innocence in his voice. I wonder if he knows how many hearts he has touched? This song puts me in tears almost every single time I listen,” said one YouTube user, a sentiment echoed by many others.
Rushawn’s class teacher at the time, Rose Binns, said that, although he would sometimes have no shoes to wear to school or money to purchase lunch, Rushawn and his brother would still find their way there, just so Rushawn could sing to his classmates.
“When he started singing, the students would gravitate towards him, and that motivated him. He was bent on being the star performer in front of his personal audience,” she told The Gleaner, adding that the young man, who is now a student at B.B. Coke High School, could be heard across the classes.
“His classmates would use the desks as drums,” she added.
That stardom that Rushawn yearned for crept upon him suddenly, and it is not clear if he has received any royalties for the use of his voice in several remixes posted online.
More than 14.8 million people have viewed It’s a Beautiful Day on TikTok, and, up to Sunday evening, different versions were viewed more than eight million times on YouTube.
The success of the song has been partly driven by South African singer David ‘The Kiffness’ Scott, who spoke with The Gleaner from his home.
He admits that he has never met Rushawn in person, adding it was likely they would meet in the future.
“We are planning a real-life union at some point,” said The Kiffness.
In the meantime, accusations have been levelled against a number of bands exploiting the song for their reach without actually supporting Rushawn. In addition, two fake GoFundMe campaigns were started purporting to collect donations for Rushawn.
The youngster pointed this out on his Instagram page @rushawn.ewears on Sunday afternoon, warning about scammers and advising that his family did not authorise any fundraiser on his behalf.
According to Rushawn’s page, he and his mother went to the Jamaica Music Society very recently to register his rendition of the tract and collect royalties.
When contacted by The Gleaner, Jermaine Edwards declined to comment.