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William Hung

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Biography

Like Charles Atlas before him, William Hung is an example of American spirit and tenacity, someone who can turn his weaknesses into an inexplicable strength that won over the hearts of millions of viewers who first fell in love with him on Fox's hit television show American Idol. Prior to his 15 minutes of fame, Hung was an engineering student at the University of California-Berkeley who won over his classmates and fellow dorm residents at a university talent show. Ripe with confidence and a set of vocal cords to match, Hung auditioned in 2003 for American Idol, performing Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" and inadvertently invented new notes on the music scale in the process. His performance was greeted with predictable sneers from resident curmudgeon Simon Cowell, motherly support from Paula Abdul, and stifled laughter from Randy Jackson, who had no right to laugh considering he made his own career flourish as the former spandex-pants-wearing bass player in Journey. With an attitude that would make Vince Lombardi proud, his hyper-positive declaration of "I already gave my best, and I have no regrets at all" immediately gave Hung a cult following and mainstream popularity that exceeded most of the winners of American Idol, and transformed other potential contenders into mere footnotes in reality television history in the process. National media appearances and rounds on the talk show circuit soon followed, and at a volleyball game at his alma mater, he received a recording contract from Koch Entertainment. Wasting no time in keeping the Hung machine in full speed, his appropriately titled debut, Inspiration, was released in April of 2004 and broke the Top 40 album sales chart. Six months later the obligatory holiday album Hung for the Holidays was issued and there was much festive rejoicing. Much to the chagrin of rock critics and Justin and Kelly fans, a record of summer anthems called Miracle was released in 2005, no doubt proving the old adage "miracles do come true" correct. Taking a page from kindred spirit Henry Rollins, Hung continued to tour relentlessly, performing at shopping malls, charity events, half-time at sporting events, and anywhere else his agents see fit to book him, proving once and for all that the American dream, as twisted and corroded as it may be from the original ideas the Founding Fathers envisioned, is still alive and well. ~ Rob Theakston
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