Houston High graduate makes it big in Hollywood - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Houston High graduate makes it big in Hollywood

Billy Rayburn (left) and Nathan Davis Jr. (right) (Source: Germantown Schools) Billy Rayburn (left) and Nathan Davis Jr. (right) (Source: Germantown Schools)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

The relationship between a teacher and a student is critical and often impacts that child's future. A Houston High School teacher got the "thank you" of a life time after one of his students hit it big.

Nathan Davis Jr. is starring in the film "Detroit" alongside big names like John Boyega, John Krasinski, and Anthony Mackie.

When the movie premiered, Davis walked the red carpet with his old teacher, Billy Rayburn, whom he describes as his adoptive dad. 

The pair arrived at Houston High School on the same day nine years ago. Rayburn's first day as choir director was Davis' first day of high school.

"I picked him up and brought him to school every day, and then he stayed after school. I would take him home every day and we just developed a friendship," Rayburn said. "I think I filled a void. He didn't have a father figure in his life."

Rayburn knew right away that Davis had something special.

"I realized very early on he was an incredible singer and incredible musician," he said. "He would come in and sing and imitate Michael Jackson."

For Rayburn, it's hard to explain just how proud he is of his former student. 

"I am incredibly proud of him. Incredibly proud to come from here from Houston [High School] and Memphis," Rayburn said. "[He] doesn't drink, doesn't do drugs...I think that's what makes him strong. Nothing is going to get in his way." 

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly