A 17-year-old from Gabon has said he is “overwhelmed” after the Canadian pop star Celine Dion shared a video of him performing one of her hits.
The video of the boy, Samuel, singing The Power of Love while sitting on a staircase in Libreville, has attracted millions of views on Facebook.
“Samuel, your talent is as big as your voice,” Dion wrote. “I hope we have the chance to meet one day.”
The song, originally by Jennifer Rush, was a hit for Dion in 1993.
The video of Samuel was first picked up by a popular Gabonese blogger before Dion reposted it on her Facebook page, propelling it to nearly 2.5 million views.
“I’m touched my songs have travelled all the way to you and hope we have the chance to meet one day,” she wrote.
“May all your dreams come true. Keep singing like you do. When music comes from the heart, it knows no borders!”
Samuel told AFP he was “overwhelmed and very surprised” by the message from the superstar.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” he said. “I haven’t got a phone or a Facebook account, it was my brother who told me Celine had shared my video.
“I just hope that one day I can meet her for real.”
He said he has been approached by producers from TV singing contests in France and Ivory Coast.
“I’m not used to this [success],” he said. “I feel good when I sing in the staircase, and now people recognise me in the street.”
Samuel said that he started singing by himself in break times at school.
“The others could not believe it was me singing. When they entered the classroom, they began to applaud,” he told the BBC’s Charles Stephane Mavaoungou.
He now intends to pursue a singing career.