‘I was in shock’: Fifth-grader sings with Rodney Atkins

Alabaster rising fifth-grader Harrison Griffeth, right, sings with country music star Rodney Atkins during Alabaster's CityFest on June 7. (Contributed)

Alabaster rising fifth-grader Harrison Griffeth, right, sings with country music star Rodney Atkins during Alabaster’s CityFest on June 7. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Rising fifth-grader Harrison Griffeth wasn’t sure who country music star Rodney Atkins was pointing at while he performed at Alabaster’s CityFest on June 7.

“I was very surprised when he pointed at me. I was in shock, because I didn’t know if he was pointing at me or at my brothers,” Harrison said during a June 10 interview. “I was thinking, ‘Is this really happening?’”

Harrison, like tens of thousands of others, was enjoying Atkins’ performance at Municipal Park during the packed CityFest event when he experienced something he will remember for the rest of his life.

While singing his hit single “If you’re going through hell,” Atkins asked one of his security guards to bring Harrison, who is a student at Thompson Intermediate School, up on stage to help him perform the tune.

“We were both in shock. We don’t know anyone in the band, so it was totally unexpected,” Harrison’s mother, Allison, said on June 10. “They asked (Harrison), ‘Do you want to sing with him?’”

Harrison didn’t hesitate to join Atkins – of whom he is a big fan – on the event’s main stage to sing the song’s chorus.

“(Atkins) told Harrison afterward that he was the bravest kid he’d seen, because some kids wouldn’t have gotten up there and sang,” Allison Griffeth said with a laugh.

Before and after Harrison’s performance, the huge crowd in front of the stage burst into cheers and applause.

“I liked it a lot when everyone was cheering for me,” Harrison said. “It was really cool.”

After Harrison sang the chorus, Atkins let him keep the mic stand as a memento of the event.

“I’m going to keep it forever,” Harrison said.