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How 'Lil Boo Thang' Singer Went From Working Two Jobs to Performing at the White House

"Lil Boo Thang" singer Paul Russell went from working two jobs to performing at the White House in just a year.

Odds are you've heard Paul Russell's song "Lil Boo Thang" (maybe even a few more times than you'd prefer). The song went viral on TikTok in 2023, peaking at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also changed Russell's life.

In just one year, Paul Russell went from working in finance at a tech company to being asked by President Biden and First Lady Jill to perform at the 2024 White House Easter Egg Roll. "I was working two jobs. I was at a tech company, like sitting at a desk and now I'm performing at the White House, like it's kind of insane," the rapper exclusively told Parade.

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"I love the Bidens. I mean, not just because they invited me, but just in general," Russell said. "I'm super grateful."

Russell now boasts more than 500,000 followers on TikTok and has been able to quit both of his day jobs. He doesn't credit all of his success to the app, however. "I guess I don't think it would have happened without TikTok, but it wasn't all TikTok," he explained. "I had built kind of a small audience and then TikTok introduced me to a lot of new fans. But in order to make what I make now, I wouldn't have been able to do that if I didn't already have people who were helping me figure it out."

Raised in Dallas, Russell admits he often debated whether he was doing the right thing by continuing to work on his music. "There was definitely so many times where was like, 'Oh, should I really be doing this? Like, is this going to go anywhere?' But I think the times of just making a lot of music is what helped me like build up what I needed in order to be here now," he said.

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Just because Russell achieved lightning in a bottle-type success with "Lil Boo Thang" doesn't mean he magically knows how to defeat that oh-so-tricky algorithm. "I'm still trying to figure that out myself. But I mean, I think it's definitely a weird world out there, like the content stuff, because you're just trying to, you know, as gross as it sounds, it's like you're just trying to get people's attention, you know? And that's a hard thing to do," he told Parade.

For those at home hoping to follow in Russell's footsteps, he gave some advice: "I would say don't be so hard on yourself and I think over time you kind of just figure out what your particular slice of the world really cares about and how to give that to them," he said. "But it's a journey. So, you know, just let it be that."

In his TikTok bio, he calls himself an "aspiring two hit wonder" and this Friday, April 5 Russell is making his next move toward fulfilling that dream with the release of his new song, "Eat, Pray, Love."

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