Launched into Web stardom
JANUARY 13, 2012
by John Roberts, Newspage Editor
Brian Highsmith ’10 thought he would surprise his bride, Emily Patterson Highsmith ’10, with an atypical wedding gift.
So before his January 7 wedding in Orange Park, Florida, he and his groomsmen, all of whom have a Furman pedigree, toiled into the early morning hours, polishing and preparing. At the reception, they gave Emily her present — a hilarious, high-energy, lip-syncing routine to Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”
But the fun didn’t end there. On Wednesday, the 3:43-minute video was posted on YouTube by Jason Avery Films, the company that filmed the wedding. And suddenly the Highsmiths and their friends were Web sensations.
Since Wednesday the video has appeared on the Web pages of CBS News, the Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, MSN, the Today Show, and countless others. It even prompted a Tweet and a re-post from the Biebs himself: “Just got sent this. Congrats Emily and Brian. Nice song. Nice moves. Haha.”
Bieber, by the way, has 16.3 million followers on Twitter.
At the latest check, Highsmith’s version of “Baby” had surpassed three million views on YouTube.
A native of Springfield, Virginia, Brian was a double-major in economics and political science. Emily also majored in political science. They live in Washington, D.C., where Brian is a research assistant for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
And to give credit where it’s due, his backup dancers are Luke Howerter ’10, Jonathan Cote ’10, Myles Surrett ’09, Corey Hopkins ’10, Quinton White ’08, Cameron Tommey ’10 and Miller Yoho ’10.