William Hung

William Hung

Pop star
Date of Birth: 13.01.1983
Country: Hong Kong

Biography of William Hung

William James Hung Hing Cheong, known professionally as William Hung, was born on January 13, 1983 in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. In 1993, he moved to Camden, USA. He completed his high school education at John Francis Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles and later attended California State University, Northridge. While studying engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, Hung decided to audition for the first season of the reality TV show "American Idol" in San Francisco after being inspired by a talent competition at his college dormitory.

William Hung

On January 15, 2004, Hung performed a rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" during the final audition of "American Idol" and gained instant fame for his lack of talent accompanied by his sincere performance style. Judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul couldn't contain their laughter, while Simon Cowell interrupted Hung's performance and stated that he couldn't sing or dance. Hung, undeterred, said, "I showed you the best of what I could do and I have no regrets." Surprisingly, Jackson and Abdul approved of his optimistic attitude. Despite not advancing to the next round, Hung gained a massive following. His performance video received over 4 million views within the first week.

William Hung

Hung made appearances on various television shows such as "Jimmy Kimmel," "On Air with Ryan Seacrest," "Entertainment Tonight," "The Late Show With David Letterman," "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," "The Howard Stern Radio Show," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," "Dateline NBC," "Arrested Development," and "The Early Show." He also appeared in national magazines and newspapers. His parody was featured on "Saturday Night Live" and he appeared on MTV's "Celebrity Deathmatch." Hung was invited to the MTV's Asia Awards ceremony, and a remix of his performance topped radio station request charts.

In 2004, Hung signed a deal with Koch Entertainment for $25,000 and recorded several songs. Three albums were released between 2004 and 2005, mainly featuring cover versions of pop and rock songs, including his infamous rendition of "She Bangs." Hung also appeared in advertisements for Ask.com and Cingular Wireless.

Hung made his film debut in the low-budget Hong Kong comedy "My Crazy Mother" in January 2005. He portrayed a good-natured village boy selling Chinese pancakes to pay for his mother's medical bills. In the movie, Hung worked alongside renowned Hong Kong actress Nancy Sit and performed the song "Siu Beng" / "Chinese Pancake" as a parody of his "She Bangs" performance on "American Idol." Despite Nancy's involvement and solid financial backing, the film was a commercial failure.

Hung was featured in the documentary film "William Hung: Hangin' with Hung," which depicted his rise to fame in 90 minutes. In February 2006, he played himself in an episode of the TV series "Arrested Development," where he was a member of the fictional group "William Hung and his Hung Jury." He also fought Ricky Martin in a match on MTV's "Celebrity Deathmatch." Hung made a return appearance on the show "Airline" and performed his infamous hit. He also portrayed a Chinese fairy in the animated series "Fairly OddParents," where he sang terribly once again, but this time as a theme song for the cartoon.

Some argue that Hung's career was built on the mockery of his persona and that the media simply exploited him. Hung became a prominent Asian stereotype - clumsy, hardworking, speaking with an accent, and lacking rhythm and singing ability - characteristics that Asian Americans often try to avoid. Ron Lin, the former editor of UC Berkeley's Daily, believes that Hung is not the most attractive example of how to pave one's way to success.