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Biography

  • Born

    27 August 1947 (age 73)

"General" Larry Platt is a United States civil rights activist who recently became famous from his performance of Pants on the Ground on American Idol (season 9).

During the Atlanta auditions for the ninth season of American Idol, 63-year-old activist "General" Larry Platt appeared and performed his own original song, Pants on the Ground. Platt was ineligible to continue, due to being well over the show's age limit of 28-years-old. His performance has since become a viral hit, and several celebrities performed the song in the days that followed the original airing of his audition. This included late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon, who performed the song while also impersonating Neil Young on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. NFL quarterback Brett Favre was also caught leading the Minnesota Vikings in a performance of the song in their locker room following their game against the Dallas Cowboys in the 2010 NFL playoffs. Today Show hosts Meredith Viera, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry also organized a performance of the song. Platt himself also made an appearance on ABC's The View on January 18, 2010, performing the song in its entirety.

After Pants on the Ground aired on American Idol, Gerald Green of The Green Brothers stated that he and his brother, Herman, recorded a song entitled Back Pockets on the Floor with a similar theme and message in 1996. He stopped short of accusing Platt of stealing his song, but rather wanted to get the message out that he's been playing his song for several years and that the overall message was his idea.

Platt was not an Army General, but rather a civil rights activist in Atlanta. The nickname "General" was given to him by Hosea Williams because of his heroic efforts on behalf of the civil rights movement. The Georgia General Assembly designated September 4, 2001, as, "Larry Platt Day", for his, "priceless and immeasurable contributions to society", as well as, "his great energy and commitment to equality and the protection of the innocent and for his outstanding service to the Atlanta community and the citizens of Georgia." During his audition, Platt wore a pin in support of Troy Anthony Davis.

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