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Woman belts out gospel classics while riding motorcycle through Michigan town

Rose Jangmi Cooper
Posted at 8:03 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 23:03:34-04

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - No matter which part of Lansing you find yourself in this summer, there's a voice you'll likely hear. Rose Jangmi Cooper.

"Jangmi just means 'Rose' in Korean," said Rose.

She informed me of the personal tidbit when we met on a side-walk, during an unseasonably warm day in May.

"During the summer, well, anytime I can get out here, I just ride my bike," said Rose.

"During the summer, well, anytime I can get out here, I just ride my bike," said Rose.

"And it just so happens that while I ride my bike, I sing, and for whatever reason, that catches people's attention."

That's right, while Rose Cooper rides her 2013 Heritage Softail Classic Harley Davidson, she belts out her favorite gospel songs... Acapella.

"I get on my bike helmet, I put my earbuds in, you know, I'm careful to listen for kids. I'm very careful about watching where I'm going and everything, but I'm in my own little world," Rose said.

"I get on my bike helmet, I put my earbuds in, you know, I'm careful to listen for kids. I'm very careful about watching where I'm going and everything, but I'm in my own little world."

While riding through Downtown Lansing with Rose, a blonde woman in a red shirt outside Jackson Field hollered, "Tell her she lifts my spirits!"

Another man in Old Town ran to Rose that same afternoon, and said, "She's basically a local legend, everybody knows Rose, right?"

I'm thinking that they're in this party that I'm having in my head. But apparently, it's just me.

Rose said, "I came up in church like a lot of black people who sing gospel music, I never took any real formal classes. You know, my music is just playing in my head, and I'm just having a party. And I'm always surprised when I stop and turn off my music and everybody else is just quiet. Because I'm thinking that they're in this party that I'm having in my head. But apparently, it's just me."

The shout-outs for Rose Cooper didn't stop.

In REO Town a man in a red car rolled down his window and said, "She's always very happy."

"When I first started riding in 1990, I was you know, a little fearful about all the activity and stuff around me," said Rose.

"So, one day, this was just about when the iPods first started coming out... I put my headphones on, and they calmed me down. And the best music to get me going and keep me pumped is gospel music. So I'll play mostly gospel music."

The owner of UrbanBeat in Old Town, Terry Terry stopped Rose during our interview.

Terry said, "Rose is a person who puts a smile on your face. That’s the essence of her singing, her riding, her demeanor. You know that when she’s passing by that she’s having a good time."

"It’s not a performance, I don’t do it for anybody, I just get out there and ride, ya know?" said Rose.

When I asked her how often she does this, she said, "Every day that ends with a “Y."

I'll tell you my normal routine

"I'll tell you my normal routine is I'll come to Old Town, go downtown, go to MSU, come back and go to Reo-Town. Then I'll come back downtown, I may wind up in West Lansing. I'm pretty much everywhere that there's space for me to drive."

Rose also loves taking people for rides on her Harley. But she has a rule.

"I have a charity that I created called Ride and Sing with SonicBOOM. I take people for rides for charities, and we donate the whole amount to the charity. But my rule is if you ride with me, you HAVE to sing!"

This talented motorist isn't exaggerating. Rose graduated from Michigan State University at 50 years old and upon graduating took the then University President for a ride, and; "she sang," said Rose.

I make sure I ride around the inner city

Rose said, "One thing that I do specifically on purpose is when I'm riding around, I make sure I ride around the inner city. I ride around like the West Side of Lansing where I see kids. I try to interact with kids because I want people to know that I'm nothing special, anybody can do this. And all it takes is letting yourself experiencing the joy that's in life."

This story originally reported by Sarah Grimmer on FOX47news.com