Mike Osegueda

Clovis sophomore steps on path to fame via YouTube

April 21, 2011 

If you haven't already, you should learn the name Ryan Beatty.

Beatty, a 15-year-old sophomore at Clovis High School, may be poised for pop music stardom. Most certainly, he's already a pro at making teen girls swoon online.

His YouTube videos, where he covers hit songs from Bruno Mars, Cee-Lo Green and Katy Perry, have drawn thousands of viewers.

In March, he was the No. 1 most-subscribed musician on YouTube (Find him at youtube.com/TheRyan Beatty).

Producers and songwriters in the music industry are already taking notice.

He, his family and his management had already met with the camp of super-producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (you've seen him on "American Idol") and producers with ties to Disney. Beatty's got offers, but he hasn't signed any contracts yet.

Last Friday, Beatty got his biggest bump to date.

Ashton Kutcher -- the actor and social media celeb -- posted a video of Beatty covering John Mayer's "Waiting for the World to Change" on Facebook and Twitter.

That's a pretty big deal when you consider that Kutcher has 6.5 million Twitter followers and 8.8 million fans on Facebook.

Kutcher dubbed Beatty "Justin Bieber 2.0." It's a comparison that's inescapable for Beatty, whose haircut and style is pretty similar to the current prince of pop music.

The impact of Ashton was immediate and overwhelming.

"My phone was blowing up." Beatty says. "People were calling me, texting me. My Facebook was filled with notifications. It also helped me realize that this is really serious."

Even with all the YouTube views, and all the girls wishing he'd marry them, Beatty says he still hadn't thought of himself as "famous."

"It finally hit me when people would see me on the street or in the store and say they saw me on YouTube or on the news."

This week, Beatty was on spring break from school, and headed to Los Angeles for more music industry meetings. In addition to his school work and YouTube videos, he's also recording his original music. His first song, "You're My Girl," has received 65,000 views in less than three weeks.

He'll be giving his first public performance at 2 p.m. on May 7 at Appellation California winery in Madera. Tickets cost $8 for kids and $10 for adults.

"I basically have a job now," he says.

But first, he's going back to school on Monday for the first time since Ashton Kutcher brought him one step closer to pop stardom. He already knows what to expect: "It'll be crazy."

The columnist can be reached at mosegueda@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6479. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.

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