Watch: BYU-bound high school grad goes viral on TikTok for sweet song honoring parents

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Screenshot from TikTok

Danny Kenny is a newly graduated 18-year-old bound for Brigham Young University this fall. And on top of all the exciting changes that come from leaving high school behind and moving away from home, Danny Kenny is also currently facing one more exciting change: overnight internet fame.

Last August Danny was tasked with writing a song for his graduating class’s commencement ceremony for spring 2023. The song he wrote and performed at his Lone Peak High school graduation ceremony last month was equal parts hilarious and heartwarming, opening with a complaint about the school cafeteria frozen burritos but ending with line after line about all the things he will miss as he leaves his childhood home.

Some of Danny’s concluding lyrics read, “I’ll miss when my dad takes my food off my plate. I’ll miss when my mom cries ‘cause I placed at State. I’ll miss when my dad gives me tips how to date. I’ll miss when my mom thinks I’m sick though it’s fake. I’ll miss when my dad takes our boat on the lake. I’ll miss when my mom sings the songs that I make. I’ll miss when my dad shows me how to cook steak. I’ll miss when my mom lets me cry then wipes the tears off my face.”

“When he sang this, my daughter and I looked at each other and we were like, ‘Wow’,” Danny’s mother Claire Kenny told ABC4 Utah. “There was something special about this one.”

At the encouragement of his parents, Danny uploaded a video of his performance to TikTok and the rest is history. As of June 8, 2023, the video has over 11.4 million views, 1.7 million likes, and 13,000 comments on TikTok.

“I have never ever gotten 1 million likes,” Danny told ABC4 Utah. “I never would’ve even thought that this was possible.”

You can watch the video of Danny’s performance in the player below. Just make sure you have your tissues close by.

The comments on TikTok are full of misty-eyed parents and fellow Class of 2023 grads who are grateful for the influence of their own parents.

Elizabeth Sartuche wrote, “I thought I was gonna be laughing the whole time I didn’t know you were gonna make me cry like that.” Taylor Legrand commented, “Not me bawling about my son graduating in 17 and a half years 😂😂😂”. Blane Graeber shared, “And now I’m crying like a baby at work. 6 weeks til my son goes to Navy boot camp. 😢”

Danny will be releasing the track as a single this Saturday. “It’s kind of been thanks to them that I’ve been able to come this far and that I have a dream,” he told ABC4 Utah. “What’s changed is my confidence. My parents are the main reason why I’m doing this.”

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