William Hung
FameRank: 6

"William James Hung", also known as "Hung Hing Cheong", is a Hong Kong-born American singer who gained fame in early 2004 as a result of his off-key audition performance of Ricky Martin's hit song "She Bangs" on the American Idol (season 3)/third season of the television series American Idol.

At the time of his audition, Hung was a civil engineering student at UC Berkeley. After his spirited audition to be the next American Idol inadvertently won the support of many fans, Hung voluntarily left college to pursue a music career. He became popular enough to perform on many popular shows, and even secured a record contract with Koch Entertainment in 2004, releasing three albums on the label. His recording career was marked by constant negative critical reaction, and his fame became the subject of much controversy as both he and his fans were accused of promoting and endorsing racial stereotypes against Asians, as he was perceived to lack musical talent and be celebrated only for embodying these stereotypes. In spite of the criticism and the implications of his success, he only showed signs of thoroughly enjoying his celebrity, believing he was living his dream.

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I was just trying out and having some fun. I don't think I'd want to pursue singing as a career; it's an on-the-side thing. It would be great if I could make a career out of it but if I can't, that's OK too.

The record company has some ideas and stuff, and we'll see, It's still early - very, very early.

My singing wasn't horrible, but my dancing really made it look silly. It's not like I'm a horrible singer that can't sing. But I don't have the consistency or the presentation skills that a good performer has.

I don't think I should have made it to Hollywood. I wasn't ready for the next level yet, but I wouldn't have known that until I did it.