Today, the singing surgeons, Elvis Francois and William Robinson, will sit down with Ellen DeGeneres to discuss their newfound fame.
The musical duo work as doctors at the Mayo Clinic, and have gone viral since uploading videos of them singing. Since it was uploaded, the video has gained more than 2.3 million views. Francois usually sings, while Robinson accompanies him on the piano.
Interested in learning more about Francois? Read on.
1. He Is an Orthopaedic Surgery Resident
According to LinkedIn, Francois has been an Orthopaedic Surgery Resident at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota since June 2015.
Currently in his third year of residency, he hopes to spread happiness and joy to his patients through his voice. And people seem to be responding to him– to date, Francois has 16.5k followers on Instagram.
Elvis’ father is a cab driver in New York City, who is clearly extremely proud of his son. “He’s probably in a cab somewhere in New York saying, ‘You know, my son is training as a surgeon at the Mayo clinic. I don’t know if you watch the Ellen DeGeneres show, but he will be on the show on Tuesday, so you should watch.”
2. He Grew up Singing in Church Choirs and a Capella Groups
Francois is no stranger to singing; he grew up belting out songs in the church choir and in a capella groups.
Asked by the Post Bulletin how he balances his love of music with medicine, he says, “Music is something I’ve always been passionate about, just from a very early age. My dad (is) tone-deaf, but he loves to sing, which is a great combination if you’re around. Seeing his passion for music, that was something that my brother and I latched on to. So music is something that I have been passionate about from a very, very young age, and I just clung to it.”
Impressively, Robinson and Francois didn’t spend time practicing their duet to “Alright” before posting it. The du o tells WBGN, “We’ve been friends since we’ve been here [at Mayo]….we sat down one day and without practicing or rehearsing, we just kinda put something together.”
Growing up, Francois participated in church choirs and a capella groups. He says although his dad is tone-deaf, “music is universal…music is medicine.” He continues, “It speaks to a deeper part of the entire human element. Music for me is something that’s like breathing, it’s not something I think of just doing, it’s something that’s part of everyday life.”
3. William Robinson Is the Other Half of the Singing Duo
Speaking to Ellen on the show, Robinson talks about how his patients truly fans of the Ellen Show. “We will finish a full day of surgery, and we’ll go up to check on them. I’ll be trying to examine them and they’ll just bat me aside. Ellen Show, every time.”
Ellen beams at this, noting how laughter is the best medicine.
When he’s asked why they decided to post the video, Robinson says, “You end your show every time with ‘Be kind to one another.’ And this video was our embodiment of that message. You know, Elvis and I have been friends a long time. We recently found we have a shared passion in music. And we’ve found that music and some of the intangibles can play just as much a part in healing as does the drugs and surgery and everything else.”
Robinson has admitted that the popularity of the video has taken him by surprise. “It’s crazy, I still haven’t really wrapped my head around everything,” said Dr.Robinson. “It’s really just us having some fun and it seemed to land a message of hope which is exactly what we wanted to do.”
4. He Believes ‘Music Is Medicine’
Francois recently told Inside Edition, “I grew up singing and I have always been interested in music,” Francois said. “Recently I’ve been posting it to social media more. Singing helps keeping spirits lifted between cases. I usually sing around the operating staff.”
On December 26, Francois took to Facebook with an intimate posting centered on the theme of “no wrong notes.” In it, he writes, “After getting suspended for the 8th time and subsequently expelled for behavior even with straight A’s my 7th grade teacher told me I would never become a doctor…THERE ARE NO WRONG NOTES….”
Francois continues, “After my high school counselor told me I should consider a technical trade because many kids where I’m from either don’t go to or don’t finish college…THERE ARE NO WRONG NOTES… To the 27 year old who was diagnosed with wide spread metastatic osteosarcoma and given 8 months to live…THERE ARE NO WRONG NOTES…”
5. He Hopes to Continue Being a Singer and Doctor in the Future
Even though he has clearly found success as a singer, Francois hopes to continue doing both medicine and music. He’s dreamed of being a doctor since he was five or six.
He tells Inside Edition, “It’s been pretty amazing. Most of the responses have been that it’s really unique.”
Francois tells CBS Local, “Music has such a medicinal quality to it. If you’re feeling great, a good song can give you an extra added boost. If you’re not feeling too good, music could be something that soothes you.”