Bryant student channels Michael Jackson for ‘Thriller’ halftime performance

Local News

BRYANT, Ark. — A Bryant High School student blew everyone away with the halftime performance of a lifetime and he’s inspiring many with his story.

After being diagnosed with autism as a child, 16-year-old Jaden Williams, dreamed of performing in front of a big crowd, and he’s hoping his video will inspire others.

Williams’ love of Michael Jackson started when he was just four years old.

“I was at my Mimi’s house and they were doing a special and I was like ‘Who is this man doing these cool moves’,” student Williams said.

It wasn’t long until he was doing the moonwalk in the kindergarten talent show.

“Just like a smooth criminal,” Williams said.

He did book reports on Michael Jackson at school and was always dressing up like the pop icon and learning his dances. It all led up to a moment he called the best day of his life. The Bryant High School cheerleaders invited him to perform “Thriller” with them at halftime.

“It really hit my heart. I never had people like these to be my friends,” Williams said.

He brought so much energy to the performance.

“Practice was so exciting. He brought a light to practice,” Bryant High School Cheerleader Kenzie Waymire said.

The reaction from the crowd when he took the field was priceless.

“Everyone in the stands started chanting his name and it was awesome,” Bryant High School Cheerleader Lawson Godwin said.

Williams’ impressive moves blew everyone away.

“Performing with him was amazing. You felt the energy in the crowd,” Godwin said.

For the teen, it’s a moment he will never forget.

“I felt like I was a superstar,” Williams said.

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