A few years ago, you might have happened upon DeWayne Crocker Jr., singing in a local Walmart Supercenter or heard him belt out the National Anthem at a high school basketball game.
These days the Pensacola State College music major has a much larger fan base that includes some of the most well-known celebrities.
One of those fans ─ Serena Williams – requested that Crocker sing at her Nov. 16 wedding to Alexis Ohanian Jr., at the New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center.
“I was booked for the wedding back in February but I didn’t know whose wedding it was,” said Crocker, who was the 2015 winner of the BET’s “Sunday Best: Race to the Stage” competition.
“I didn’t realize it was Serena’s wedding until the soundcheck. She was walking around and I saw her. That’s when it clicked that this was her wedding.”
The 2013 Escambia County High School graduate – who has performed on national television several times – described the event as the biggest night of his life.
“I met Beyoncé, she’s a very classy but regular person. Of course, Serena’s sister, Venus was there, Kim Kardashian. It was a who’s who of celebrities,” he added.
Crocker and backup singers, Restored, sang three songs for the couple – “Let’s Get Married,” “Endless Love” and “Lean on Me.”
Crocker who has a dominant social media presence was told that Serena Williams saw his videos and personally requested him.
“I feel so blessed to have been asked to sing. I never expected anything like this. I would have expected her to ask someone like John Legend to sing at her wedding ─ not me,” said the 21-year-old who began singing at area churches when he was 5 years old.
“This just proves you just never know who is watching so you should always be prepared for whenever opportunity presents itself. Opportunity without preparation is nothing. Always be prepared!”
New Edition also performed during the wedding along with the New Orleans funk/jazz band, Naughty Professor.
“I took one of my brothers, Keoki Simmons, with me and some members of the paparazzi thought he was a member of New Edition,” Crocker said laughing. “We were all caught up in the experience and were bombarded with questions from the paparazzi too.”
Crocker said Serena Williams was really, really nice.
“I was just a college kid and she was very humble, very kind, very sweet when she came over and spoke with us,” he remembered.