Larry King said on Larry King Now on Wednesday, “I’ve never done this before– I’m going to give a contribution on the air.”
The veteran talk show host was moved by the meteoric rise of openly-gay singer Steve Grand and his music career that has been driven by social media and YouTube.
Steve, 23, became an Internet sensation when his music video, “All American Boy,” about unrequited love between two men hit YouTube in July. It now has nearly 3 million views. Using money he made from playing in a church choir and maxing out his credit card, he created the $7,000 masterpiece.
That’s because he has bigger fish to fry.
Steve launched a Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday to fund an entire album. His goal? $81,000. As of Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT, he raised more than $60,000. The Chicago native says, “I want my fans to be my music label.”
Larry, who predicted “Back To California” would be a hit, pulled out his checkbook and was the first to make a contribution. As thank you — for Larry and anyone else who makes a $25 contribution — Steve drew a sketch of Larry and handed it to him.
On Facebook, the young artist wrote, “I’m honored to have been interviewed so early in my career by the legendary Larry King! And THANK YOU, @KingsThings, for being the first to back my Kickstarter campaign! “
UPDATE: Steve made his goal in only 17 hours. As of March 1, he was up to $138,000. He announced: “My fans have done it again. They’re a game changer. They’ve been the driving force at every step in my career, from making ‘All-American Boy’ go viral to making this record possible. I am amazed and grateful.”
He will keep collecting money as long as it keeps coming, writing, “There’s really no limit on how high we can fly. If we have the money to market and promote the album properly.”