- In an interview with MTL Blog, Freida Solomon, the woman who sang to Céline Dion in a viral video, reflects on the experience and the internet reaction.
- "If people are sending her any type of hate I want them to understand that she's a human being with emotions."
- See the full videos of the encounter here.
Freida Solomon's sidewalk performance for Céline Dion quickly became the stuff of memes. People on the internet appropriated footage of the touching encounter to focus on one moment in which Céline, head peering out from her black SUV and face hidden behind large sunglasses, appears to stare blankly at her fan outside. Out of context, it looks like the Québécoise superstar is glaring disapprovingly at the streetside singer.
A screenshot of the expression became instant social media fodder, even reaching the likes of Ariana Grande.
The complete video shows Céline stopping her car to listen and congratulating Freida on the rendition of "I Surrender" with a fistbump and a large smile.
"It's been a lot," Freida tells MTL Blog of the experience and online reaction. "I didn't know it would have this reaction, positive and negative."
"I'm still trying to process everything."
"I haven't seen all of the negative because I try to avoid Twitter now as much as possible."
Asked what she thinks of the memes that sprouted from her video, Freida says that she mostly has empathy for Céline.
"I try to put myself in her shoes. We think that celebrities are invincible. We forget that they're human beings."
The single image of her face "does not at all portray what happened. She was so gracious," Freida explains.
"Not only did she listen to me. She validated me. She made me feel important."
"And everyone twisted it."
"If people are sending her any type of hate I want them to understand that she's a human being with emotions."
The moment "has been so changed and warped and made fun of" that Freida says it appeared to morph into a "moment that didn't really exist."
Above all, however, the singer wants to express gratitude for all the people online who praised her bravery and countered the naysayers.
"There are people who are like 'don't even focus on the negative. Don't even believe them.'"
"I choose to love myself and be proud of what I did even though so many people are not."
Despite the memes, Freida is glad that "so much positive" has come her way.
"I always knew there was more for me. I have all this love and this motivation to inspire other people and to use music to do that."
"And then this happened. I have a platform now to spread love and spread goodness."
"There is so much goodness in the world that overrides the evil and the pain."
"That was the best lesson I can get out of this."