Backpack Kid has taken the internet – and now the world – by storm. With his simple yet addictive dance moves, it’s no wonder everyone is following along, and even sometimes learning his moves!

So who is the kid beneath the backpack? Where did he suddenly come from and just how did he gain this overnight fame? Check out these 30 facts about Backpack Kid!

  1. Even though he is known as “Backpack Kid,” his real name is Russell Horning.
  2. Russell was born and raised in Laurenceville, Georgia on December 19, 2001. He is 16 years old as of 2018.
  3. He has a younger sister named Jill.
  4. Russell started gaining popularity after Rihanna gave him an Instagram shout-out in 2016. He gained 55,000 new followers in two days.
  5. The big break for Russell came from dancing with Katy Perry during her SNL performance of “Swish Swish.”
  6. Katy Perry found his Instagram profile as a recommended page. When she saw he did what he was doing just for fun, she invited him to be on the show with her.
  7. Not only did he dance on stage with Katy Perry, but later appeared in the music video later that year for the same song, “Swish Swish.”
  8. Backpack Kid also made a cameo appearance in the music video for “Rolex” by Ayo & Teo.
  9. After the performance with Katy Perry, the dance move he did on the show became his signature move. He calls it “The Russell,” while some call it “flossing.”
  10. Despite his straight face while performing, Russell says he was extremely nervous to be dancing on T.V. with half the country watching.
  11. Even though “The Russell” was popularized after being on SNL, he first performed it at a summer camp in June 2014.
  12. Russell’s favorite emoji is the laughing face with tears.
  13. Many athletes have done “The Russell” during football games. So much so, ESPN interviewed Russell about his dance.
  14. In October 2017, Mack Hollins of the Philadelphia Eagles did “The Russell” after he scored his first career touchdown pass.
  15. The Backpack Kid’s backpack isn’t empty – in it he carries a full water bottle, a charger, fidget spinners, and earbuds to keep it weighted in place while he dances.
  16. Russell started wearing a backpack for dancing after he saw his friend with a cool backpack. He traded a pair of new shoes for his friends backpack and started dancing with it that day.
  17. Now, Russell leans towards using just one backpack brand for dancing – Sprayground.
  18. Russell admits that he can’t dance. He says he does his moves for comedy, and he just dances to make people laugh.
  19. As of 2018, Backpack Kid is 5’6” tall (168cm), and he weighs 121 lbs (55kg).
  20. Russell purposely keeps a straight face because he thinks it makes his videos funnier.
  21. Even though Russell is mostly self-taught, he took a dance class for a month but left because there was too much drama and the class wasn’t helpful.
  22. Before he went viral, Russell had 300 followers and his video had 30 views. It wasn’t until someone with over half a million followers reposted the video that he started getting recognition.
  23. Backpack Kid even has his own website where you can buy official t-shirts & hoodies.
  24. His favorite cartoon character is SpongeBob SquarePants.
  25. As of 2018, Russell has over 1.5 million Instagram followers.
  26. Russell’s original Instagram username was Majestic Cat Lover. However his official Instagram profile is now @thebackpackkid.
  27. When he first started dancing, Russell wasn’t into hip-hop. After he started noticing other famous dancers were into it, he started listening to it more and including it in his dances.
  28. Now that Russell is into hip-hop music, he hopes to be in more music videos for that genre.
  29. What’s in store for the future of Backpack Kid? Russell says he wants to continue being a comedian dancer.
  30. When he’s not dancing, Russell tries to keep a normal lifestyle to keep himself from getting cocky. He plays Xbox and has sleepovers with his friends, just like any other teenager.