By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Young aspiring South Florida singer Kory Burns was certainly at the right place at the right time when a famous Grammy-winning recording artist discovered him while selling Christmas trees.

Kory had been hauling Christmas trees at his uncle’s Kevin Burn’s famed tree Lot called KB’s Christmas Trees since as far back as he can remember.

“I’ve been doing this here every year since I was born. My uncle has had multiple tree lots running at the same time. My mom would have her own lot and she would help him out at his main lot and I was here every year, every weekend,” Kory said.

About 11 years ago, when he was 14, Kory didn’t want to go work the Christmas tree lot one fateful day, but something told him to go.

“I was having an attitude that day. I’m not doing it; I didn’t want to be there that day. I just want to be with my friends. But I knew that this was the place for me to be discovered and I was right,” Kory recalled.

Right there at the North Miami Christmas tree lot, Kory was discovered by Miami-born Betty Wright, a Grammy-winning soul singer and songwriter.

Kory was humming along to “All I Want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey.

“I remember her just walking in and my mom was telling her I’m a singer, she’s never heard me, but can you take a listen,” he said. “She heard me humming and singing. She said ‘let me have you come by the house’ and she heard me and the next thing you know my career was taking off,” he explained.

Kory Burns with Betty Wright. (Courtesy: Kory Burns)

Early this year, Betty and Kory released the single and video “Follow the Leader.”

Sadly, Betty Wright passed away at age 66 this past Mother’s Day.

“The last time we got together on was on “Follow the Leader”. We recorded it in her home and then I got to do the music and we got to watch the music video together right before she passed,” he said.

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Betty didn’t get to see or hear his latest song called “Radio” which Kory released this past October, but he feels her presence.

“It’s just been taking off ever since. It’s about to hit one million streams and I couldn’t be more excited.  I know Betty is up there guiding me. I’m excited to see how this single does,” Kory said.

Kory will never have forgot the years he spent learning from the renowned soul singer who took him under her wing and guided his career.

“She was just an inspiration. As soon as you met her just talking to her she embraced you. You really felt embraced. It was incredible. She showed me so many things  you can only learn from experience. I’m very grateful for the time I got to have with her,” Kory said.

Kory’s music is available on YouTube and SoundCloud, with more to come and he’s hoping one day to come full circle and record a Christmas song.

Click here to listen and watch “Radio” on YouTube.

Click here to listen and watch “Follow The Leader” on YouTube.

Lisa Petrillo