Rodney Atkins Fuels Nostalgia On TikTok With Heartfelt Father-Son Moment

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Rodney Atkins responded to a TikToker who requested a duet with his son, who’s now grown up after appearing in his father’s music video in the early 2000s.

Many of the Knoxville, Tennessee-born country star’s longtime fans know Atkins’ son by the heartfelt single, “Watching You,” which appeared on the 10-track album If You’re Going Through Hell in 2006. Atkins has since released an acoustic rendition of the ballad that paints a classic picture of his 4-year-old son saying a “four-letter word,” after a green traffic light turned straight to red. Nearly two decades later, the kid Atkins’ sang about is in his early 20s.

“Y’all wanted to know what happened to the kid from the ‘Watching You’ video,” Atkins wrote in text that appears over a video he shared on TikTok this week, deeming it “the best late Father’s Day gift.” Atkins’ son, Elijah, now 22, appeared on screen and sang the chorus after his dad’s introduction. Thousands of TkTokers commented on the “full circle” duet. One said she was “fighting back the biggest tears right now,” and another compared the father-son duo to Thomas Rhett following in Rhett Akins’ footsteps.

“He said I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool/ I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you/ And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are/ We got cowboy boots and camo pants// Yeah we're just alike, hey ain't we dad/ I wanna do everything you do/ So I've been watching you”

Akins shared another video on TikTok about his son earlier this month. He shared a clip from a recent performance at Ascend Amphitheater in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee, sharing with the audience that “the kid I wrote it [‘Watching You’] about is here tonight.” Some fans said seeing Elijah as an adult is “making us all feel old,” and others — including other 22-year-olds — reminisced on a lifetime of listening to the country anthem. Watch the original video again here:

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