When a 20-year-old William Hung walked in for his audition during the third season of American Idol in 2004, the judges couldn’t have known they were facing a star in the making, not with his off-key rendition of Ricky Martin’s She Bangs. However, notwithstanding his apparent lack of musical talent, William unabashedly continued with his singing and dancing, leaving the judges in stitches and though he didn’t make the cut, he made it clear that he had no regrets showcasing his talent for the world to see.
After getting the boot with a “You can’t sing, you can’t dance, so what do you want me to say?” comment from American Idol judge Simon Cowell, Hung’s music career seemed to have ended. However, contrary to what was expected, he went on to launch his career as a musician and has a few tracks credited to him. Additionally, he gained a massive cult following as a result of his tenacity.
William Hung’s Bio
Although he has spent quite a long time on American soil, William Hung was actually born in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, on 13th January 1983. He immigrated to the United States in 1993 and settled in Camden, New Jersey. Nothing is known about the family he grew up with and what his childhood looked like. For his education, William attended John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles and after graduation, he went off to college at the University of California, Berkeley where he chose to study Civil Engineering.
During this period, he auditioned for a chance to compete in the American Idol Season Three on January 15, 2004. He sang and danced to the best of his knowledge but the judges were unimpressed, subsequently sending him away. Unfazed by the rejection, the Hung Kong-born singer abandoned his studies in college, subsequently dropping out to pursue his music career. In the end, instead of ending his future as a musician, the rejection William faced in American Idol turned him into an international sensation. He got himself a cult following with a fan site created in his name.
In line with the instant fame he gained post-American Idol audition, he landed a record deal with Koch Entertainment and got $25,000 advance payment. He released three albums under the label. He performed tracks from his first album titled Inspiration in front of almost 20,000 fans during half-time at a Golden State Warriors game. The debut album didn’t get a warm welcome from the public but still went on to sell 200,000 copies, climbing to the number one spot on Billboard’s Top Independent Album Chart. Hung’s second musical offering attracted even more negative reaction with his Christmas album dubbed Hung for the Holidays selling just 35,000 copies while Miracle: Happy Summer from William Hung (his third album) took a deeper nosedive with just 7,000 copies sold.
William Hung finally gave in to the pressure and announced his retirement from music in 2011 but not without making an appearance in various top television shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Howard Stern Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Entertainment Tonight, the Late Show with David Letterman, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dateline NBC, Arrested Development and The Early Show. He also graced several national magazines, newspapers and appeared in commercials for Ask.com, as well as many top brands like Cingular Wireless. His acting credit can be traced to Where is Mama’s Boy (2004) which was a box office flop.
In 2014, William Hung became a married man. He got married to a woman identified as Jian Teng but other than the name, nothing else is known about her. There is also no record of any offspring from the couple yet.
Despite hitting a dead end in his endeavors in the entertainment industry, William Hung was able to accumulate as much as $600,000 in net worth. The amount was apparently accrued during his brief stint in the limelight and his latter job in the County Sheriff’s Department.
Where Is William Hung Now?
William Hung later went back to college and got his first degree from California State University, Northridge in 2010. In 2011, the former singer secured a job at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in the capacity of a technical crime analyst. He still reiterates that he has no regrets about his foray into music and encourages young talents to never give up on their dreams.