78-year-old Michigan woman’s COVID-19 rap goes viral

NOVI, Mich. – Julie Cox might have a viral rap hit on her hands at the age of 78.

Cox, a former music teacher, decided she wanted to remind people to wash their hands and practice social distancing the best way she knows how -- through song.

With sports seasons benched and concerts all canceled, the latest new star comes from a Novi nursing home.

“I just want to make people smile,” Cox said.

Cox has been dropping rhymes for decades -- first as a band director and then as a teacher for third and fourth graders.

“The kids thought it was cool and called it rap, so we did it,” Cox said. "It was easier for them to learn that way.

When COVID-19 hit, Cox go out her pen and paper. Quarantined in her room at Brookdale Senior Living, it took her eight hours to write the catchy lyrics.

While she’s quite possibly a future contender on NBC’s “The Voice,” Cox said performing doesn’t always come naturally.

“I don’t like being on camera, which is a strange thing to say during an interview but it happened quickly, so I couldn’t get nervous,” Cox said.


She recorded the soon-to-be-hit in the community room at Brookdale Novi with a staff member suited up, standing more than six feet away.

Cox, a grandmother from St. Joseph, is taking every precaution to stay safe and she hopes her skills at the mic will help others struggling with isolation.

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