Country singer Kris Jones and his daughter Dayla pose together in the 1999 Dodge Ram pickup truck that made him a viral sensation last year at their Alvarado home on March 8, 2018. Jones is trying to parlay his viral fame into a country music career. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Country singer Kris Jones and his daughter Dayla pose together in the 1999 Dodge Ram pickup truck that made him a viral sensation last year at their Alvarado home on March 8, 2018. Jones is trying to parlay his viral fame into a country music career. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Tom Fox/Staff Photographer

People are asking for pictures and autographs. Your social media is blowing up with friend requests, mentions and likes. Newspapers, radio shows and TV stations are calling for interviews. You are the talk of the internet.

I know you've thought about being famous. Everyone has.

But viral fame is a bit different -- a relatively new phenomenon that occurs overnight to ordinary people, who most of the time, never planned on being famous in the first place.

Take Kris Jones as an example.

A video of the then 38-year-old Alvarado dad singing "Tennessee Whiskey" to his daughter unexpectedly went viral in 2017. Days later, millions of people had seen the video. Websites wrote stories about his voice. Radio stations and newspapers requested interviews. Random people he'd never met wanted pictures and autographs. Wannabe managers called to get a piece of the action.

Kris' fame came as fast as a click of a button. But then what? How do you navigate viral stardom?

Well, just in case it happens to you, here are four tips from Kris Jones and his wife, Destinie, on what you should and should not do after becoming a viral star.

Be prepared for chaos

Destinie made the wise but dangerous choice of posting her cell number on Kris' newly created Facebook fan page after "Tennessee Whiskey" went viral. Immediately, her phone blew up with calls from wannabe managers, reporters, TV shows and fans. She got thousands of Facebook comments. Destinie wanted to respond to everybody. 

"I didn't sleep," Destinie said. "I literally lost 10 pounds in a week, because I was constantly on social media answering every single post that I could possibly answer to. I wish I would've maintained a better balance."

In short, be prepared for serious chaos.

Don't believe everything you hear

Everyone wanted a piece of Kris. Some of those people were very real, like the person from The Voice who called, or The Ellen DeGeneres Show. There was also a lot of spam. Multiple people offered to buy Kris' Facebook page for tens of thousands of dollars or offered large sums of money to post advertisements on Kris' page. 

"Don't pay any attention to that," Kris said. "People will call you from other countries with crazy offers. Lots of people will call you for management, saying they want to take you to the next level. Research them. Don't believe everything."

Be realistic

After achieving accidental viral fame, Kris expected two things:

1. That country stardom would shortly follow, along with actual monetary riches, enough to quit his job as a contractor. 

2. That he could make another viral video, purposefully. 

Everybody should have as much joy as this Texas woman with her Chewbacca mask

Both were false. 

"Lower your expectations. Be realistic. Don't expect a lot," Kris said. "If you just became viral by accident, be thankful for that. Absorb it. I was more about urgency, and seizing the moment. I expected a whole lot."

Don't escape reality

At certain points, Kris admits that he became a little too wrapped up in the virtual world of positive comments, likes and views. But the reality of his life hadn't changed. He was still a contractor and the sole provider for his wife and three kids, and there were times he was so entangled with his quest for country stardom that he neglected his job.

"The bill collector doesn't care who Kris Jones is," Kris said. "I don't think it's healthy for anyone to escape reality and get lost into a virtual world that they think is real. But at the same time, don't miss out on that opportunity. Just balance it out."

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