Lafayette's Bryson Bernard, better known by his stage name Cupid, will soon be challenging Walmart associates across the world with a variation of his 2007 hit single "Cupid Shuffle" song and line dance.

The international challenge comes after last year's national "Walmart Shuffle" challenge, which culminated with Bernard shooting a music video in November with employees at a store in Huntsville, Alabama.

"There were thousands of people at the store just waiting for me to show up," Bernard said. "We filmed and I gave them that Lafayette hospitality and charm. I think it caught people off guard. They expected me to be different. Huntsville just showed me a lot of love." 

It all started last summer with social media posts of Walmart employees dancing to the "Cupid Shuffle," which regularly plays in stores through the company's own station called Walmart Radio.

"There were all of these viral videos going around with ordinary people and associates at our store doing these line dances," said Bo Woloszyn, a DJ for Walmart Radio. "We connected with Cupid, and he was like 100 percent on board and excited to do it because he sees the value in Walmart and our associates having fun at work."

Bernard performed at the company's annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, and surprised attendees by changing the lyrics of his song to include Walmart references.

In September, Walmart challenged its stores to upload videos of employees dancing to the "Cupid Shuffle" for the chance to meet Bernard and be featured in the official music video. Hundreds of entries poured in.

The "Walmart Shuffle" contest and resulting music video is a finalist in the 11th annual Shorty Awards, which recognize the best of social media. The official music video shot in Huntsville went organically viral with over 25 million impressions and 7 million video views, according the contest entry.

"In short, our 'fun' associate-driven campaign organically generated viral reach and engagement, with high positive/low negative sentiment around the campaign itself and Walmart," the entry said. "Comment verbatims included both customers and associates articulating pride in their respective employer and community store, as well as non-customers who said that though they historically don't care for Walmart, they still commended the content."

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Walmart Radio DJs Bo Woloszyn, front left, and Antonio Williams, front right, are pictured with Walmart employees at a store in Huntsville, Alabama, where they shot a music video with Bryson Cupid Bernard of Lafayette.

Bernard and Woloszyn are planning to take the "Walmart Shuffle" challenge outside of America in the coming months.

"This isn't fleshed out 100 percent yet," Woloszyn said. "But we're looking at doing a special challenge to try to make the Walmart Shuffle go international, and we may start that by challenging our Canada friends."

Travel destinations that top Bernard's list include Hawaii and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Bernard said he spent years recording and releasing catchy dance songs, but nothing caught on like his 2007 hit "Cupid Shuffle." The multi-platinum single reached more than 3 million sales in 2017, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. 

The singer-songwriter, who has been recording since 1999, said he lost his original sound and fans for several years.

"I was chasing the imaginary dream of topping the No. 1 dance hit of all time with another one," Bernard said. "I lost my core fans trying to be a pop star. I lost it."

After years of recording with Atlantic Records, Bernard has returned to his early, more soulful R&B sound with his latest album "Capricorn," which was released by Hub City Records Dec. 22.

"It's just a beautiful album," Bernard said. "It's very personal. It's about the ups and downs of life. It's me. There's no lie on that album. It's basically the Cupid from before 2007."

Bernard said he doesn't mind that the "Cupid Shuffle" remains his biggest hit. The song and line dance have given him opportunities over the last 12 years he otherwise wouldn't have had.

"Man, I could never imagine being tired of the 'Cupid Shuffle,'" Bernard said. "There are some people who make 10 albums and then they disappear, but I have the biggest dance song of all time, and I come from Lafayette, and I'm going to be here forever. That's cool."


Follow Megan Wyatt on Twitter, @MeganWyattACA.