It’s hard to believe Ebon Lurks doesn’t have a record deal yet. The 18-year-old singer has pop star good looks, vocals reminiscent of Justin Bieber and Chris Brown, and thousands of die-hard fans known as “Lurkers.” Without major label backing, he’s amassed more than 25,000 YouTube subscribers and 3.5 million YouTube views, not to mention more than 35,000 fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. His YouTube cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You” — recorded in a bathroom and backed only by a pair of pencils used as makeshift drumsticks — has more than 350,000 views.
But there’s more to the Oklahoma native’s story than raw talent, charm and popular videos that prompt marriage proposals from fans. When he was just 2 years old, Ebon suffered the ultimate loss — the untimely death of both of his parents. In the wake of the tragedy, Ebon and his brother, Malek, moved to Tulsa to live with his grandmother and her daughters, who raised the boys as their own.