WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WJAR) — A Rhode Island woman has caught the attention of rap star Missy Elliott with her cover of the song, “Work It.”
Mary Halsey, 58, of West Warwick, posted a video of herself singing the 2002 hit during an outdoor karaoke party at Goddard Park in Warwick July 29.
“Is it worth it? Let me work it,” Halsey sings, while also dancing and describing herself as “Missy’s funky white sister.”
Elliott later shared a portion of the video on Twitter, adding that she was impressed with Halsey’s skills.
“I just found out I have a FUNKY WHITE SISTER forreal doe & she brought her home girl with her from da hood that keep tip toeing in the background with a plate of food yo I’m done! but she straight killed “Work It” sound effects & all I love it,” Elliott tweeted Tuesday.
As of Thursday night, the video had been viewed at more than 8.5 million times, with at least 163,000 shares.
“It's just gone off the charts, literally,” Haley said.
While she might look like an overnight sensation, Halsey’s been perfecting her go-to-karaoke song since 2003.
“People wait for me. They're like, ‘You're going to sing your song, right? You're going to sing your song? It's my song now – sorry, Missy,” Halsey said with a laugh.
Her song of choice isn't exactly an easy one, as it involves singing backwards.
“I'm not even sure if that really means anything, but it's part of the song and I do it kind of verbatim,” Halsey said. “That's what's incredible.”
When she's not singing karaoke, Halsey works at a nursing home in Coventry. She said she's dreamed of going viral and has her eyes set on something else.
“The dream would be to possibly get on The Ellen Show and maybe sing with Missy -- who knows? I mean, just to meet them in person would be my dream come true," Halsey said.
But more than anything, Halsey hopes her singing gives people something to smile about.
“I'd like to think that this video is bringing people together,” she said.
(Editor's Note: To view the video in full, visit Halsey's Facebook page.)