“Joe Byron!”: the story behind the formerly homeless TikTok star


Ari'el Abbott, Twitter Editor

“Byron” is a TikTok sound that has over 210 million views and gained the attention of many TikTok users and celebrities. 

TJ is the voice behind so many of these trending sounds like: “Beans, rice, Jesus Christ, and Byron,” “I’m gonna give him a big ‘ole kiss,” and his most used sound, “What’s up baby? Take me out to dinner.”

A Tik Tok sound is an audio that is behind the TikTok video. If the audio is from your own original video, it becomes your custom sound. 

The TikTok sounds made by TJ quickly gained attention with celebrities such as Lil Nas X, The Jonas Brothers, and John Legend using TJ’s sounds. “#JoeByron” also gained attention and went viral, gaining more than 165.5 million views.

 TJ was featured in the September and October edition of  “Sidewalk” videos, in which according to the article,”TikTokers raised over $35,000 to help a man who went viral for asking President ‘Joe Byron’ to take him out to dinner,” from the Insider author Charlotte Colombo wrote, the man [TJ] has been featured in the September and October edition of  “Sidewalk” videos, in which NEMS, a rapper from Coney Island interviews people on the street.

As stated in the article “GoFundMe campaign helps raise over $37,000 for homeless TikTok sensation who went viral for ‘Joe Byron’ video” written by Kalhan Rosenblat said, “TikTok user Zoë McCreary posted a video in December of TJ, who appeared to be in tears. When asked what he wanted to say to TikTok, instead of the bright upbeat energy he usually has, he asked in the video, ‘Hi, why am I homeless?’” 

At the end of the video, you can hear Zoë McCreary say that a GoFundMe campaign would be set up for TJ. Since then the GoFundMe has raised over $37,000 and in another video, posted by  McCreary, you could see them getting him new clothes and going bowling.

In a following video, posted on December 10, 2021, TJ was shown holding a set of keys, saying he had finally gotten an apartment. In a fundraiser video after TJ got his apartment, he said “Hey, my people. Thank you so much. I love you guys. But remember, you do make a difference.”